East Midland Control Centre - Spencer Group

East Midland Control Centre

In 2006, Spencer Group was contracted to build the first UK signalling control centre, eventually completing three of these first generation facilities – in the East Midlands, West Scotland and Thames Valley.

Project scope

Spencer’s remit was to create the greenest building of its kind to date and to achieve a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating.

The project employed renewable energy technologies wherever possible, such as reducing the glazed area and the use of body tinted glazing to minimise solar gain and reduce cooling requirements. Daylight inter-linked controls were used to reduce artificial illumination in reaction to the available natural daylight.

In non-critical and low occupancy areas, presence detection switching was used to reduce energy consumption.

The regeneration of the derelict brown field site required the safe disposal of asbestos and hydrocarbons and all the construction materials employed were easily recyclable e.g. concrete was PFA based.


Spencer worked closely with Network Rail to deliver a failsafe electrical distribution system providing four levels of back-up: normal mains supply, standby generator, uninterruptible power supplies and a secondary standby generator facility. This ensured great efficiency and reliability.

Alongside the control centres in Glasgow and the Thames Valley, Derby Control Centre will form the basis of the next generation in signalling. The specification of adhering to the very highest environmental standards will ensure one million litres of water are saved every year.