The Estates team is the home of our in-house real estate experts within DIO. We advise, acquire, manage, safeguard and dispose of the Defence land and buildings for our military customers. To do so we work closely with other DIO teams including our Hard and Soft Facilities Management Teams in Regional Delivery, Project Managers in Major Projects and Programmes and the Accommodation teams.
I manage a team of chartered surveyors, town planners, registered valuers and technical staff who use their unique customer knowledge and insight of the Defence estate to provide in-depth advice, benefitting the military on MOD sites in the UK and overseas. The expertise we provide ranges from rural and commercial surveying, safeguarding specific assets and operational capabilities, byelaw management, acquisitions and disposals through to managing accommodation programmes, commercialisation initiatives, and valuation programmes.
Looking at the whole iceberg
The nature of the work that the Estates team undertakes can be likened to an iceberg – the portion which is visible above water is only a small piece of a much larger whole. Examples of the more visible activities include land sales where the wider community can see sale boards and information, the letting of MOD land and farms so as to reduce management costs and provide a realistic military training environment and the letting of buildings in garrison areas to provide services such as hairdressers, tailoring and other shops and even pubs.
One hidden example of the team’s work is sourcing, securing and managing over 1000 rental properties in various overseas locations to meet overseas military accommodation needs. In the UK the lesser known areas of our work include dealing with military training and manoeuvres damage claims. We manage the leases for some historic areas such as the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust Historic Dockyard, which has the National Museum of the Royal Navy, HMS Warrior, and the Mary Rose Trust as sub tenants.
The Estates team has a close working relationship with our Armed Forces customers and the military backdrop can make for some interesting days. Aside from the wide variety of tasks that the job entails we provide real estate support to military operations and to state occasions in the UK. Recently this has included supporting the military in their response to the Covid-19 pandemic and their role in the funeral of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, with the G7 meeting in Cornwall and Trooping the Colour at Windsor Castle to come in the very near future. We are also sometimes called upon to support wider government, such as the Home Office in the provision of asylum seeker accommodation on military sites. This is not something that is found in many other jobs, and our work can be very fast paced.
As you can see the DIO Estates team provides a wide range of advice and support to our military customers and colleagues across DIO and I’ve hardly scratched the surface here!
If this has whetted your appetite, we currently have vacancies for suitably qualified property professionals - including: Senior Development Surveyor, Senior Valuer, Senior Surveyor, Senior Estate Surveyor and more to come! You can also look at future opportunities on Civil Service Jobs.