© Crown copyright 2016
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: email@example.com.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mod-estate-rationalisation-plan/mod-estate-rationalisation-plan
The estate optimisation strategy is a departmental initiative, the aim of which is to create a smaller and significantly better estate that effectively supports our armed forces, and their role in protecting the security, independence and interests of the UK at home and abroad.
The current defence estate was established for a very different era of military capability and need. Our armed forces are becoming more agile and with this the requirement for the defence estate is changing.
In 2010, the National Audit Office carried out a review of the defence estate concluding not only that substantial reductions in operating costs were required but also that a more systematic approach to estate rationalisation was taken.
Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015
In November 2015 the Prime Minister published the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR). The review provided the MOD with clear direction on what the defence estate should look like in the future. Specifically it outlined the following:
that the built estate will reduce in size by 30%, by 2040
to enable that reduction, significant funding has been allocated, of which:
£1 billion is for estate rationalisation, concentrating on those elements of the estate rationalisation plan that have the highest returns in terms of improving the delivery of military capability, reducing operating costs and providing income from the disposal of assets. The disposal receipts will be reinvested back into defence
£550 million of capital investment to address critical issues in the MOD’s estate infrastructure
In support of the 30% built estate reduction target there are a number of wider government initiatives including the One Public Estate programme and the Government construction strategy, which will help MOD undertake effective rationalisation but also efficiencies in infrastructure operating costs and targeting reductions in spend on utilities and accommodation, including facilities management.
Reducing the size of the defence estate
As highlighted above, SDSR 2015 states the defence built estate will reduce in size by 30% by 2040. In preparation MOD has been engaged in detailed activity since 2014 with army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force front line commands to develop a strategy to provide an efficient infrastructure laydown in support of military capability which rationalises the defence estate.
As the MOD has reviewed the UK defence estate, a number of priorities have been identified, based on analysis of data across 3 dimensions, military capability, efficiency and value release, which will frame the geographical laydown for the UK’s forces for a generation.
Whilst the estate optimisation strategy looks at reducing the size of the size of the estate out to 2040, this does not mean the focus is entirely on disposing of sites it no longer needs. Further investment in MOD’s core estate is required to support military capability and the needs of our people.
Furthermore, we are intensifying the utilisation of buildings in the retained estate is being undertaken in order to increase efficiency and reduce the reliance on building new facilities when re-providing accommodation as the estate is rationalised.
An initial 12 sites were announced for release on 18 January 2016, a further 10 on 24 March 2016 and 13 more on 6 September 2016, see the Defence Infrastructure Organisation website.
Sites announced in January 2016:
- Kneller Hall in Twickenham
- Claro and Deverell barracks in Ripon
- RAF sites Molesworth and Alconbury in Cambridgeshire, and Mildenhall in Suffolk.
- Lodge Hill in Kent
- Craigiehall in Edinburgh
- HMS Nelson Wardroom in Portsmouth
- Hullavington Airfield in Wiltshire
- RAF Barnham in Suffolk
- MOD Feltham in London
Sites announced in March 2016:
- Thornhill Barracks (Part of Clayton Barracks, Aldershot)
- Burgoyne Barracks (Part of Shorncliffe Barracks, Folkestone)
- Clive Barracks (Tern Hill, Shropshire)
- Fitz Wygram House, Royal Army Vet Corps (Aldershot)
- Army Officer Selection Board Westbury (Wiltshire)
- Defence Training Estate Land near Cove, East of Fleet (Farnborough)
- Rylston Road Army Reserves Centre (London)
- MOD Wethersfield (Essex)
- Chetwynd Barracks (Chilwell, Nottinghamshire)
- MOD Cheadle Hulme (Greater Manchester)
The MOD expects to announce the final results of its review of the defence estate in autumn 2016.