Claire Perry, MP for Devizes, was invited to Larkhill Garrison on Friday to help Aspire Defence lay the foundations for the British Army’s future on Salisbury Plain.
Mrs Perry met with representatives of the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), the Army and Aspire Defence on 4 November to attend a briefing on the Army Basing Programme (ABP) – a series of unit moves within the UK and the withdrawal of troops from Germany by 2020.
During her visit, the MP laid the foundation block for the first in a series of Junior Ranks’ Single Living Accommodation (JRSLAs) due for completion in May next year.
Mrs Perry said, “This visit was an excellent opportunity to view - and appreciate - the scale of works currently underway to prepare a new home for soldiers resettling here in Wiltshire. I was especially pleased to hear about the benefits Army Basing will bring for communities and my constituents, from long-term jobs and investment in the local supply chain to new education and health facilities.”
Under the ABP, which will bring an additional 4,000 soldiers to the region, Aspire Defence is building and enhancing military facilities at garrisons across Salisbury Plain and at Aldershot. The programme of works falls under the 35-year Project Allenby/Connaught (PAC) contract, let by the MOD to Aspire Defence in 2006.
By summer 2019, Aspire Defence Capital Works will deliver 130 new buildings and the same number of alterations and extensions to existing buildings, including over 2600 extra bed spaces for soldiers, plus offices, stores, dining and technical working spaces. Aspire Defence Services Limited, responsible for the total facilities management service on the garrisons including catering, cleaning, waste management, maintenance and landscaping, will expand its provision and look after the new buildings until the PAC contract ends in 2041.
The ABP programme of works also includes the development and expansion of early years and medical/dental facilities outside the garrisons for military families and civilians.
Jeremy Parker, DIO Senior Requirements Manager who oversees the works at Larkhill Garrison for the MOD, said, “As Army Basing progresses it is important that we liaise closely with external partners – including local government – to ensure that the positive impact of the PAC contract is recognised and maximised. It was therefore very useful to meet with Mrs Perry for an update on our current and future planning.”
Allan Thomson, Chief Executive of Aspire Defence, added: “Aspire Defence is celebrating a decade of successful delivery of first-rate living and working accommodation for soldiers. We are delighted to be embarking on this new phase of development, which gives us an opportunity to consolidate that success and continue making soldiers’ lives better. We were very pleased to have an opportunity to invite Mrs Perry on site and demonstrate our progress.”