Three huge military contracts with a combined value of around £1.1 billion have been given to two different firms, who will now take over the running of the Ministry of Defence’s vast land and buildings in the West.
The MoD’s property arm, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, announced yesterday that a new “prime” contract to manage all the housing the military owns has been awarded to maintenance and logistics firm Carillion Amey.
The deal, valued at £626 million, will see Carillion Amey maintain and refurbish tens of thousands of homes nationwide, including thousands in Wiltshire’s garrison towns, as well as Army and Navy bases in Dorset, Somerset and Gloucestershire.
The firm has also bagged a separate £152 million contract to run the DIO’s properties in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
A third contract, to manage and run the military’s “training estate” has been awarded to Landmarc Support Services.
The £322 million deal will see Landmarc take over the running of the huge Salisbury Plain training area, which stretches from military bases in Warminster in the west of Wiltshire right across the county to the Hampshire border.
Landmarc will now be responsible for ensuring that a balance be struck between allowing and facilitating the Army to train on Salisbury Plain with the responsibilities the Ministry of Defence signed to protect the sites of special scientific and environmental value. In recent years, military exercises using tanks have had to be constrained to protect butterfly habitats, for example.
All three contracts will run for five years, with an option to extend for another five years at the end.
“The contracts provide planned and reactive maintenance, including grounds maintenance, and have the capability to deliver additional professional services, low value capital works and capital projects up to a value of £3.93 million,” said a DIO spokesman. “The contracts ensure sites continue to be kept safe, legal and operational at all times.”
Back in March, the DIO announced a series of major regional contracts – valued at £700 million to take on the task of building the new Army bases and garrison town accommodation required for 4,000 soldiers and their families returning from Germany to be stationed in Wiltshire in the next five years. Who wins that contract will be unveiled next month.
Matt Foley, the head of the DIO’s future procurement, said that over the past ten years, the organisation has concentrated its contract arrangements to get private firms to run the logistics and structure of army bases and training facilities from more than 250 different deals to just six.
“These are designed to deliver value for money for the MoD and the taxpayer through a coherent set of firm-priced contracts, which further improves financial stability,” he said. “I look forward to working closely with our new prime contractors and I am confident that the companies selected will meet the high standards required on the defence estate.”
The director of service delivery at the DIO, Major General Mark Armstrong, said: “DIO’s priority is to support our Armed Forces by providing the places they need to live, work, train and deploy on operations.
“Prime contracts have not only been designed to provide operational capability at all times, but are also flexible enough to adapt to future requirements of the defence front line; allowing for service requirements to be changed in a timely and cost effective way,” he added.
The new national housing contract will replace whatever local arrangements that cover almost 50,000 military homes across the country with a new national deal for maintenance, refurbishment and installing furniture and fittings.