My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence (Kevan Jones) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I am very pleased to announce that the Ministry of Defence has awarded a contract to the Inteq Consortium for the redevelopment of, and provision of services to, the Basil Hill site in Corsham, Wiltshire. The contract was awarded on 1 August.
The purpose of this private finance initiative, part of the Corsham09 Programme, is to maximise defence operational effectiveness and business by providing a coherent information infrastructure and assuring the delivery of integrated information solutions throughout the MoD and to our Armed Forces, both at home and abroad.
The modernisation and redevelopment of the Basil Hill site will enable defence equipment and support military and civilian personnel and other MoD staff, who are currently located on various sites in the Corsham area, to be brought together on the one site. This will provide a greater unity of purpose against the developing backdrop of high-tempo global operations and coalition partnering, and will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation, thus enabling us to continue to provide world-class communications systems and services to our Armed Forces.
The Corsham09 PFI contract, worth some £690 million over the next 25 years, will deliver modern living and working accommodation for up to 2,200 personnel, including the provision of some 180 en-suite bed spaces for service men and women. The contract also includes provision for the delivery of a wide range of services, including catering, cleaning, vehicle management and utilities. Some 80 MoD civilian posts will transfer to the new service provider, Inteq. No redundancies are anticipated as a result of the transfer, which will be handled in accordance with existing legislation and the Ministry of Defence’s Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE) code of practice. The trade unions have been involved throughout the process, and a formal consultation period is currently under way.
Some of the services that, in future, will be delivered by Inteq are already provided under contract to the MoD. As a result, approximately 100 people currently employed by contractors will also transfer, in accordance with TUPE legislation, to the Inteq Consortium.
The agreement we have reached with Inteq will benefit not only our Armed Forces, but also the local community and economy, as well as the wider UK economy. The PFI contract will help to secure existing jobs in the local area with the potential for new jobs to be created. Furthermore, the redevelopment of the Basil Hill site will enable up to 55 hectares of land in Corsham to be released for disposal.