Mr Mundell visited what will be the single home of the UK Submarine Service today [Monday 22 August].
More than a billion pounds is being invested by the UK Government’s Ministry of Defence in improving and upgrading HM Naval Base Clyde, ensuring that it remains fit for purpose well into the 21st century. This investment will see developments across the base’s waterfront, engineering support, living accommodation and physical security.
The work is necessary as the base will become the single home of the UK’s submarine service from 2020, with the seventh Astute class attack submarine due in 2024, and the new Successor class of nuclear deterrent submarines arriving from the early 2030s.
Mr Mundell said:
The work of the Royal Navy team at Faslane demonstrates clearly how Scotland benefits from the UK’s armed forces, and how our military contributes to the safety and prosperity of Scotland. The team at the base play a very significant role in the country’s defence and national security. I am very proud of our submariners and the Faslane-based sailors and marines who protect both UK and international waters all the year round from Scotland.
I also saw today how big a contribution the base makes to the local area, providing skilled jobs, supporting the local economy and contributing to regeneration. I want to encourage a strong partnership and working relationship between the base and the local authority, for the benefit of people who live and work in the local community.
HM Naval Base Clyde is one of the largest employers in Scotland, with 6,800 people working there. This is forecast to rise to 8,200 by 2022, in support of its development as the home of the UK Submarine Service.
Following his visit to the Base, Mr Mundell met with Argyll and Bute Council, in whose area the base is located. He heard how the Council and the Navy are working together to maximise the benefits from the Base’s ongoing development: supporting local population growth, local housing, employment and economic opportunities, and education. Argyll and Bute Council were recently granted £5 million from LIBOR fines to support its £17 million community waterfront redevelopment project in Helensburgh.