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Military Training Academy

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 27 February 2008

I have regular discussions with the First Minister on a range of issues. The defence training academy at St. Athan will be a massive boost to south Wales, providing widespread benefits to the local economy.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. When he next meets the First Minister, will he impress on him how vital it is to provide a road link to the M4 motorway by 2013, so that the whole of Wales can benefit from the record-breaking, multi-billion pound investment in training in my constituency, Vale of Glamorgan?

I am sorry to spoil the party of the hon. Member for Vale of Glamorgan (John Smith) over there, but the fact is that the Minister will know that Metrix and the Ministry of Defence have just scrapped package 1 of the defence training review. Can the right hon. Gentleman give a 100 per cent. guarantee that package 2 is safe?

No, I cannot give such a guarantee—I am not the Secretary of State for Defence—but what I can say to him is that the preferred bidder for package 2 could still be Metrix, but that package 1, so far as St. Athan is concerned, is absolutely safe, and that £11 billion is to be spent on St. Athan, the biggest ever investment in Wales by the Ministry of Defence.