I am announcing today an update to the key project timescales for the Defence Training Review Package 1 project. My predecessor announced on 9 October 2008, Official Report, column 457, that an investment decision was expected in spring 2009, with contract signature following approximately 15 months later. Plans have advanced considerably, but the work has exceeded the assumptions made in 2008 and hence the change to when the investment decision will be taken. It is not uncommon for a project of this complexity and size to experience delays, but the project is under constant review to ensure it meets value for money requirements. The benefits the project will deliver are very considerable and include: real savings against existing defence budgets over the next 30 years; enhanced operational effectiveness through the use of modern teaching techniques in a purpose built tri-service defence technical college delivered through a single PFI contract; the release of 1,200 service personnel for duties in the front-line commands, helping reduce pressure on operations; significant capital investment in living accommodation through the provision of 3,240 single accommodation and 483 married quarters; the delivery of further efficiencies through site rationalisation and efficient use of the estate, including the reuse of some accommodation for units returning from Germany.
I can announce today that the project is on track for an investment decision in the summer.