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Defence: Training Review

Volume 716: debated on Thursday 7 January 2010


My honourable friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces (Bill Rammell) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today announcing an update to the key project timescales for the defence training review package 1 project. My predecessor announced on 9 October 2008 (Official Report, col. 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 that it meets value-for-money requirements. The benefits that 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 to reduce pressure on operations; significant capital investment in living accommodation through the provision of 3,240 single accommodation and 483 married quarters; and 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 today announce that the project is on track for an investment decision in the summer.