27 Jul 2018

Defence Minister provides update on building a Better Defence Estate

Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood has told Parliament that good progress is being made on the MOD’s plans for more modern and efficient military bases as part the Better Defence Estates Strategy.

In a statement to MPs, Mr Ellwood confirmed that the MOD has already disposed of nine sites and has advanced its plans for the release of other sites which have been identified for sale.

The changes under the strategy, announced in 2016, are the most significant since the end of the Second World War and will see the sale of 91 sites owned or managed by the MOD.

The site sales will release land no longer required by the military, which will be able to be used for more economically beneficial purposes, such as house building.

The plans will save the taxpayer around £140 million by the end of the decade, rising to £3 billion by the end of 2040. The changes will also reduce the number of personnel being regularly moved between different bases, providing greater long-term stability and certainty for our Armed Forces and their families.

All money raised will be reinvested back into defence, with £4 billion committed to improving military bases, including accommodation.

Mr Ellwood also announced that the RAF will stop using RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire by 2020 and RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire by 2022.

Mr Ellwood said: “Our military bases are where our service personnel live, train and work, so it’s important that we have sites which suit the needs of the armed forces.

“That’s why we’re making our defence estate more modern and efficient, by closing sites we don’t need and investing in more modern accommodation. As well as saving money, and allowing reinvestment back into a more modern and better defence estate, the changes will provide greater long-term stability and certainty for our Armed Forces and their families.”

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