HCE bowls over stakeholders in Kia Oval catering expansion – Catering Insight

Eastleigh-based distributor, HCE Foodservice Equipment, has completed a large scale project at Surrey County Cricket Club’s (CCC) Kia Oval stadium.
In 2019 Surrey CCC set out to expand the Micky Stewart Pavilion and create the new Galadari stand, adding 2,500 seats to raise the capacity to 28,000. This expansion was not just for seats however, but involved conference and events areas, two large commercial kitchens and four further bars.
Engineering consultancy Artelia UK provided project management and quantity surveying services for Surrey CCC on the scheme. Senior project manager Zak Halliday worked with HCE in the capacity of delivering the commercial kitchen spaces, from the procurement process, installation and commissioning manuals and deliveries. He said: “The key things in the kitchen were having a system that worked efficiently, one that was simple and straightforward. As it’s a flexible space, it needed to be very user friendly, follow some simple principles and design philosophies.”
Describing the beginning stages of this project he said: “When we started working with HCE, we stepped into a design stage, looking at the areas we had and equipment we wanted to bring in and started to brainstorm how they would be best used to optimise the space.”
As this expansion was on such a large scale, HCE needed to work hard to keep stakeholders informed at every stage. Alex Lewis, venue director at the Kia Oval, explained: “During things like Covid and Brexit, HCE gave us the certainty by informing us on the delivery process which was really helpful. All the way through to commissioning and bringing everything onto site, and finally to delivery and having everything installed in what was a rather tight, fast-paced programme towards the end, HCE communicated it all to us very clearly.”
He continued: “HCE are one of the many contractors that were onsite, they had to not only deal with their problems, but all of the contractors on site and their challenges that went before them and adjusting their timelines accordingly which made this a huge construction project requiring HCE to fit in to all the other pieces of the jigsaw!”
Halliday was reportedly impressed with HCE’s project management skills: “HCE need to be commended on how smoothly they delivered the project, from the day they started on site, to the day everything was commissioned. They communicated clearly and had a strategy plan in place to deliver the work that was required. They were at the forefront of being able to have things moving dynamically, alternatives being in place and changes being made. I can only but recommend them.”
In addition to their project management and kitchen design services, HCE also offer an aftercare service which entails equipment servicing and maintenance contracts to ensure operators can maximise uptime.
Lewis added: “HCE have been great at putting together a proper comprehensive asset list that we had onsite, giving us a 3-year plan which we were given from the offset, and working through the lengthy long term process and not just a quick fix problem. I would definitely work with HCE on another project, they have been fantastic throughout the whole process.

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