In my written ministerial statement of 13 December 2012, Official Report column 42WS, I announced that Capita had been chosen as the preferred bidder for the purchase of the Fire Service College following a thorough, fair and open process. I am pleased to inform the House that the sale process has today been successfully concluded, following a full TUPE consultation with college employees and their union representatives.
The college has been sold to Capita for an enterprise value of £10 million, which will be subject to adjustments for stamp duty and to take account of the college’s financial position at completion of sale. This deal will deliver new investment to secure the future of the college, and represents a good deal for taxpayers and value for money for the public purse.
In addition to this consideration, the Department will share in any future profits from the development of college land through a claw-back provision, and will receive further revenue from the sale of a number of houses previously part of the college estate.
More importantly, Capita has also committed to a significant programme of infrastructure and transformation at the college, and is keen to ensure that training courses deliver improved value for money.
Taken together the sale of the college has the potential to deliver an estimated benefit of £30 million to the taxpayer in the first few years and at the same time secure the college’s future.
The Government have insisted on a number of conditions on the sale, including commitments not only that the college will continue in use as a national training college for fire and rescue authorities, but also that it will continue to offer wider national resilience and emergency services training and exercises, and that Government permission will be required if Capita wishes to sell the incident ground.
The Government would like to place on record their thanks to the senior management team and staff of the college for their efforts in bringing the sale to a successful conclusion. The Government also wish Capita every success in its future operation of the college.