Our intention to develop a Defence Sixth Form College was initially announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence in answer to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Reading, West (Mr. Salter) on 27 March 2001, Official Report, columns 547–48W, on the outcome of the Defence Training Review. On 24 January 2002, Official Report, column 994W, my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Armed Forces gave the House an update on the project, at which time no decisions had been taken on where the College would be built, or how it would be procured.I am now able to inform the House that we have concluded that a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) offers best value for money for provision of the facilities and services required by the College. We have selected the Minerva consortium, which comprises Interserve plc, HSBC and TQ Education and Training Ltd, as the Preferred Bidder, and are now engaged in negotiations to conclude a contract.This being the site selected by the Preferred Bidder, the Defence Sixth Form College will be built on the site of the disused barracks outside Woodhouse, near Loughborough. It will open in September 2005, at which time the present Army Sixth Form College at Welbeck Abbey will close.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence
(Dr. Lewis Moonie)