Chancellor George Osborne today (Monday 31 August) announced over £500 million of funding for the Royal Navy’s flagship submarine base, HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane, securing 6700 jobs and creating thousands more.
The work, which will take ten years to complete, is expected to start in 2017 and will support thousands of jobs.
More than £500 million will be spent on ship lifts, sea walls, jetties and other major projects to ensure Faslane continues as a world leading naval base; home to Astute and Successor submarines, their crews and engineers until at least 2067.
This announcement follows the Chancellor’s pledge at the Summer Budget to maintain the NATO commitment to spending at least 2% of GDP annually on defence, making the UK the only major world economy which meets both the NATO target and the 0.7% on international aid target.
Faslane is the largest military establishment in Scotland, and alongside Portsmouth and Devonport is one of three major naval hubs.
From 2020, Faslane will be the Royal Navy’s ‘Submarine Centre of Specialisation’ which means all of the UK’s underwater capability will be based in Scotland. The Ministry of Defence also expect to base Successor class submarines at Faslane when they come into service from 2028.
Currently the base hosts around 6,700 military and civilian staff and contractors, but this is expected to increase to about 8,200 by 2022 based on submarine capacity alone, with today’s additional infrastructure development also contributing thousands of jobs.
Speaking from Faslane, the Chancellor said:
Today’s announcement of more than £500 million demonstrates the UK government’s commitment to investing in the infrastructure and capability to ensure that Faslane remains the centre of UK submarine operations for the next generation.
I’m proud to say that this government continues to recognise that our brave Armed Forces across Britain have always been resolute in defence of liberty and the promotion of stability around the world.
That’s why I recently committed to meet the NATO pledge to spend 2% of our national income on defence every year of this decade.
A strong and secure country is vital to both our prosperity and national security.
There will be thousands more jobs right here in Faslane, as well as across the UK supply chain.
Across Scotland, around 12,600 people work in defence and my defence spending commitments will secure these jobs and provide huge opportunities for defence, security and technology companies all over the UK.
The government’s investment in defence will also support the UK’s defence and security exports industry. In 2014, UK defence and security exports totalled nearly £12 billion, making the UK the second-largest exporter of defence and equipment services after the USA.
Recent examples of UK export success include Rolls Royce engines for the French A330 multi-role tanker transport aircraft, MBDA’s advanced short range air to air missiles to India, and Thales ForceShield integrated air defence system plus Starstreak missiles to Indonesia.