05 Mar 13. The UK economy is set to receive a £1.8bn boost when the
Army returns from Germany, Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced. Details of the investment in new bases and accommodation were set out in the basing plan which clarifies for the first time the Army’s future UK locations. Around 70 per cent of the Army will be brought back from Germany by the end of 2015 with the final 4,300 back by the end of 2019 – a move expected to eventually save £240m a year. They will be based across the UK with major concentrations around Salisbury Plain, Edinburgh and Leuchars in Scotland, Catterick in North Yorkshire, Aldershot, Colchester, Stafford and the East Midlands. The new basing plan will make the best use of the Defence estate and provide better accommodation and facilities for our troops and their families. The Government is investing £1.8bn in the new basing plan and £1bn of this will be spent on building brand new accommodation. This will see around 1,900 new family homes being built and more than 7,800 new rooms for single soldiers along with over 800 upgraded rooms for single soldiers and over 450 upgraded homes for families. The rest of the investment will be spent on technical infrastructure. These changes will provide savings and efficiencies for the Army, a sustainable military footprint to support military operations and certainty for personnel and their families. The announcement sets out the future lay down of the Army as it moves back from Germany and provides further detail of the restructuring announced in the Army 2020 report of July 2012. The return of the Army from Germany was first announced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010 which committed to returning all 20,000 troops, plus their families, to the UK by 2020. 70 per cent will now return by the end of 2015 compared to a previous commitment of half by 2015. A number of Army units have already returned leaving fewer than 16,000 personnel and 30 units. At the same time, the SDSR announced a reduction in the size of the Army, followed by a further announcement in 2011 which committed the Army to reduce to 82,000 by 2020. Since 2011, a major study has been undertaken by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation who are responsible for managing and maintaining the MOD estate. This study has ensured that the plans make better use of the Defence estate and ensures value for money for the taxpayer. The new basing plan, coupled with the reduction in the size of the Army, will mean seven sites across the country are no longer required by the Regular Army and will be made available for disposal: Claro Barracks in Ripon, North Yorkshire; Howe Barracks in Canterbury; Craigiehall Barracks in Edinburgh and Cawdor Barracks in Brawdy, Pembrokeshire; plus elements of Redford Barracks in Edinburgh, Forthside Barracks in Stirling and Copthorne Barracks in Shrewsbury.
05 Mar 13. Army 2020: Basing Plan. The Defence Secretary announced (5 Mar 13) the future basing of the Regular Army, as all troops are withdrawn from Germany and as the number of soldiers reduces to 82,000. Consolidating around seven centres “will significantly reduce the need for moves, ending the culture of routine UK rotation and giving Army personnel and their families greater certainty about where they will live and work….”. Having outlined future plans for the Regular Army, the Defence Secretary turned to the question of the Reserves: “….we will be publishing a White Paper shortly and following that I will make a further statement to the House about the Reserve estate.”.
Comment: The Defence Secretary’s Statement and the subsequent Parliamentary discussion is recorded in ‘Hansard’ for 5 Mar 13, starting in Column 845.
ARMY 2020: MAJOR SITES
AREA LOCATIONS PERSONNEL
1. Salisbury Plain