Armed Forces' medics are to get new training facilities and accommodation under the latest phase of a programme to focus military medical expertise in the Midlands.
The second phase of the Midlands Medical Accommodation (MMA) Project will ensure that the region becomes the central focus for military medical expertise and assets in the UK.
The MOD has awarded a contract to deliver the new facilities to Carillion plc, subject to conditions precedent.
Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Andrew Robathan, said:
The men and women who serve in our Armed Forces deserve the highest standard of medical care and I am committed to delivering the very best.
The Government has invested in first-class medical training facilities that will be a key component of providing a base from which to exploit and sustain progress in military medicine that will make a real difference to our troops.
The first phase - MMA Increment 1 - has already delivered a modern office building at Defence Medical Services (DMS) Whittington, near Lichfield. This now houses the Surgeon General’s strategic headquarters and those of Joint Medical Command, both of which are fully operational.
The second phase of the project will see DMS relocate from Keogh Barracks in Surrey to a new modern training centre at Whittington, which - like the first phase - will be delivered by Defence Estates.
This will include training facilities, a learning centre and lecture theatre, messes for officers, warrant officers and senior non-commissioned officers, Service living accommodation for permanent staff, and a junior ranks dining and leisure facility.
The Surgeon General, Surgeon Vice Admiral Philip Raffaelli, said:
This is tremendous news which confirms our commitment to investing in the Defence Medical Services, and building on our Community of Excellence in the West Midlands and with the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in Birmingham.
Work is expected to begin on site in early summer 2011, and relocation is planned to start in late 2013. Once completed, the site will be home to around 1,400 people.
Defence Estates project manager, Dave Lawson, said:
Defence Estates’ top priority is supporting our Armed Forces. We look forward to delivering the next phase of facilities that will put DMS Whittington at the heart of providing medical support for the UK’s military personnel.