My right honourable friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Bob Ainsworth) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
This Statement follows on from the one that I made on 13 December 2007 (Official Report, col. WS 55). I am pleased to announce the approval of the plan to collocate intelligence facilities at RAF Wyton under the Programme to Rationalise and Integrate the Defence Intelligence Estate, known as PRIDE. PRIDE (Wyton) will deliver new, purpose-built accommodation for some key defence intelligence capabilities that will enhance our operational effectiveness and our ability to work in joint operations with our allies. PRIDE (Wyton) will relocate key intelligence units from RAF Brampton, Feltham, Denison Barracks in Hermitage and Ayrshire Barracks in Mönchengladbach, Germany, to RAF Wyton in Cambridgeshire. This will form a hub for our intelligence collection capability and will enable the organisations to deliver more effective support to front-line operations. Additionally, the moves will allow the disposal and sale of RAF Brampton, in Cambridgeshire, further contributing to our wider aim to reduce the MoD estate and drive down support costs.
In parallel to this final approval being reached, I can announce the award of the contract for the major construction work to Skanska UK plc, at a cost of approximately £150 million. This is further good news for the construction industry and will secure a significant number of jobs over the coming four years.
This project constitutes only one part of the PRIDE programme. The second element is the relocation of the Royal School of Military Survey and the Defence School of Languages from Hermitage and Beaconsfield respectively. A future location for these units is still being determined but their resultant moves should allow for the disposal of the Hermitage and Beaconsfield sites. I expect to announce the approval for this project in the autumn of 2010.