Hi, I’m Mark Duddy and I’m the DIO Programme Director for the Army Basing Programme (ABP). If you are a regular reader of the blog you will know that ABP is an infrastructure-led change programme for the Army that commenced in 2013 and has a number of projects across the UK. We are seeking to provide Army service personnel, currently based in Germany, with the facilities they need to live work and train as they return to the UK. So far the ABP has returned over 80% of the service personnel that were stationed in Germany in 2010, our target is 100% back to the UK by 2020.
We celebrated one of the programme’s most recent successes this month as we officially opened the Ashdown Estate in Tidworth, Wiltshire.
This £73m project on Salisbury Plain was completed ahead of schedule by our contractor Hill.
The estate consists of 322 brand new homes for military families working in locations around the Salisbury Plain Training Area. The homes have been designed specifically with families in mind. The spacious three and four bedroom homes are built around four large public open spaces and the estate includes two play areas for children to enjoy.
The new houses will mean fewer families will have to live in expensive rented homes in the area, and this will create a cost saving for the Ministry of Defence.
It was a pleasure to welcome Defence Minister Guto Bebb to the event. He had a chance to speak with families who live on the new estate to hear their experiences of living in these modern new homes.
After all of the planning it is incredibly rewarding to watch the estate come to life and become a community, it’s great to see families move in and them to begin to enjoy their new homes.
The completion of these homes caps off a successful period for the Army Basing Programme. Alongside this development, over £1b will be invested in Salisbury Plain to accommodate the remaining 4,000 troops of 20 Brigade and their families returning from Germany in the summer 2019. The MOD will provide a further 1,000 new homes, 2,600 bed spaces for single soldiers and nearly 250 other buildings such as offices, garages, workshops and mess facilities. We have also contributed over £20m to Wiltshire Council to secure 1,200 additional school places for service children from September 2019. Wiltshire Council is building two brand new primary schools, extended two others and a secondary academy will also be extended in time for us to welcome the families back to the UK in 2019.
The next phase of the programme will see the remaining 917 new homes built on MOD land at Bulford, Larkhill and Ludgershall under a contract let in November 2017 to contractor Lovell, the house building arm of Morgan Sindall. These new houses will all be built by 2020.
I hope that everyone living on the Ashdown Estate today and for generations to come enjoy these wonderful new homes.