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Royal Engineers

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 15 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what his most recent estimate is of the cost of relocating the Royal School of Military Survey; (247871)

(2) what his most recent estimate is of the cost of moving the 42nd Engineer Regiment, including the cost of the movement of the Regiment's headquarters;

(3) for what reasons the (a) 42nd Engineer Regiment and (b) Royal School of Military Survey are to be relocated;

(4) on what date he expects decisions on the movement of (a) 42nd Engineer Regiment, (b) its headquarters and (c) the Royal School of Military Survey to be announced.

The cost of moving 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic) and its headquarters from Hermitage, together with 14 Sqn of the Regiment, located at Ayrshire Barracks, Moenchengladbach, Germany, is estimated to be £18.9 million (net present value over 25 years). A decision on the date for the start of the project is expected by March 2009.

The intention is for the Royal School of Military Survey to collocate with other intelligence training organisations at Chicksands, Bedfordshire. As the project is still in its initial stage, with the investment appraisal still to be completed, no confirmed date or cost is available. Any announcement on a date for relocation is unlikely before October 2010.

The relocations will not only improve operational effectiveness by collocating intelligence capabilities at RAF Wyton and intelligence training at Chicksands, but will enable significant long term savings in estate management and support costs.

The MOD will work to minimise the impact on civilian staff at Hermitage by providing any assistance it can to those who may be affected, relocating personnel and avoiding compulsory redundancies wherever possible.