Hello and welcome to ‘Inside DIO’ – the new blog which I hope will give you a real insight into our work at the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, or DIO for short. We’re part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and look after the military estate, both in the UK and overseas.
DIO plays a vital role in supporting our Armed Forces by building, maintaining and servicing what the men and women who serve our country need to live, work, train and deploy on operations. We have a vision to become even better by becoming a world-class infrastructure delivery organisation over the next few years.
Our organisation came to life in April 2011, drawing together the assets and people of seven former Top Level Budgets (TLBs) - major sections of the MOD with responsibility for their own finances - including the former Defence Estates.
I’m proud to have been here from the beginning - leading a huge cultural change in how we deliver estate and infrastructure services within the MOD.Over the coming weeks, colleagues from right across DIO will share many aspects of this journey with you, but for now I’d like to give you a sense of the breadth and depth of the work which we do.
DIO is now responsible for all acquisition, disposal, allocation of assets, construction, and maintenance of the estate infrastructure in the UK and abroad, as well as providing all the catering, cleaning, guarding and other services that keep the military ‘on the go’. With more than 230,000 hectares of land, we are one of the country’s biggest landowners. Around one-third of this is naval bases, airfields, barracks and camps; the rest comprises of the training areas and firing ranges that are vital to our Armed Forces’ preparation for operations.
We have created a new business that is the equivalent of a FTSE top 30 company. DIO now manages some £21 billion worth of assets – that’s around 18 times as valuable as Manchester United. We maintain 45,000 buildings, 50,000 homes for Service families and some 135,000 single living bed spaces. We spend £3.3 billion pounds every year running the Defence estate – that’s about the same amount as Britons spent on Amazon last year. In doing so we manage over 400 contracts with more than 200 suppliers.
DIO is a huge enterprise. People forget that it is the third largest estate in the UK, after only the National Trust and the Forestry Commission. We are responsible for much of the nation’s heritage and look after 815 listed buildings and over 700 scheduled ancient monuments. Some 170 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) come under our stewardship, along with 130 internationally designated nature conservation sites.
We employ some 4,900 people from a diverse range of professions including town planners, airfield pavement experts, foresters and construction engineers. Our people are necessarily spread across the globe in Germany, Cyprus and the Falkland Islands, as well as sites in Norway, Poland, Kenya, Belize, Nepal and Oman.
Our new organisational model, which we launched in Spring this year, will help us maintain progress towards becoming that ‘world-class’ infrastructure provider, where our aim is to enable Defence personnel to live, work, train and deploy at home and overseas. I hope that the insight into our work which you read about in the coming weeks and months will help you understand what a challenging and exciting journey DIO has embarked upon. Enjoy the ride.