Monday, August 4, 2008

New DE&S centre planned in Wiltshire

New DE&S centre planned in Wiltshire

4 Aug 08

Plans for a major new defence centre in North Wiltshire, which will accommodate 2,200 Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) personnel and their industry partners, were announced by Defence Minister Derek Twigg today, Monday 4 August 2008.

The project known as 'Corsham 09', will see the centre built on the Basil Hill site in Corsham. The PFI contract for the project is worth £690 million over a 25-year PFI deal.

Collocating MOD staff on one site with industry partners will provide greater support and delivery to the frontline. It will particularly improve information systems and services to all parts of the UK defence community, including the MOD's worldwide strategic communications systems used by troops deployed on operations worldwide.

Construction work on the new centre, which will include brand new single living accommodation for 180 service men and women, will start in November this year.

Defence Under Secretary Derek Twigg said:

"The work of MOD staff at Basil Hill is key to our front line forces around the world and this project reflects our determination to invest in state-of-the art infrastructure to support UK troops.

"Today's announcement means that ageing and unsuitable office and living accommodation at our Corsham sites will be replaced by modern, environmentally friendly and well-designed facilities, with enhanced information systems which will improve our service to all parts of the Defence community.

"We're contracting for this new complex of buildings under a 25-year Private Finance Initiative deal - which means MOD pays only for the use of the buildings and associated support services. "

Richard Groome of Inteq, the consortium that will build and run the new complex said:

"We have designed new accommodation facilities that will create a positive, 21st Century environment in which service personnel and civilians can live and work. Inteq recognises that this is a very important initiative for the MOD and we are confident that by bringing the expertise of Interserve and John Laing together we will deliver real benefits for our Armed Forces and value for money solutions for the MOD."

The project will see the significant redevelopment of the Basil Hill site. Seven new buildings are proposed to provide:

Operational command building for the DE&S ISS Headquarters and Global Operations Security and Control Centre (GOSCC)
Single Living Accommodation for 180 service personnel with mess and conference facilities
Sports hall
Security building providing reception and control room facilities
Combined stores
Motor transport workshop
There will also be a substantial refresh of retained facilities.

Units that will be based on the site include Defence Equipment and Support's Information Systems & Services organisation (DE&S ISS) and 2 (National Communications) Signal Brigade.

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