£200m funding boost announced for armed forces accommodation
A £200 million funding boost announced for armed forces personnel’s homes will give military families “the standard of living they deserve”, according to Defence Secretary Ben Wallace.
More than 5,000 military personnel and their families will have their homes modernised as part of the plan, Mr Wallace announced during a visit to Catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire, on Friday with Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the investment will fund new kitchens, bathrooms and furnishings, as well as re-roofing, plus measures to reduce the risk of mould and damp.
It said that the funding injection will mean that 3,500 service homes will be upgraded as well as single living quarters.
The work will also make armed forces estates more environmentally friendly, with plans for better insulated doors and windows, energy-efficient boilers, solar panels and electric vehicle charging points.
The MoD said the plan will also include new play areas, resurfaced roads and energy efficient street lighting.
There are also plans to replace 30 Second World War vintage accommodation blocks in Longmoor, Pirbright, Westdown, Knook, Nesscliffe and Castlemartin camps, providing new accommodation for on-call personnel in Northern Ireland.
The MoD said the upgrades are expected to sustain around 2,000 jobs over the next two years and will be delivered through the existing National Housing Prime contract.
Mr Wallace said: “Our armed forces work incredibly hard to keep our nation safe, and so it is only right that they have a place they feel proud to call home.
“From introducing a generous Forces Help to Buy scheme to piloting a new rented accommodation model, we have made enormous steps in recent years to offer flexible housing for a modern workforce.
“This latest investment will benefit thousands of our personnel and their families, providing the standard of living they deserve.”
Mr Sunak said: “Day in, day out, our armed forces make huge personal sacrifices for our country, and it is our duty to ensure they have the best conditions possible.
“This news doesn’t just mean service homes across the country will be upgraded, but will see 2,000 jobs in sectors where they are needed the most, like plumbing and decorating – delivering our Plan for Jobs.”
The MoD said that £530 million has been invested in improvements to Service Family Accommodation over the last four years.
Catterick Garrison will be one of the camps to benefit from the new funding.
The MoD said details on further areas to receive these improvements are still being finalised.