King's Troops Royal Artillery standing still for inspection at Woolwich Barracks 110320 CREDIT BFBS_1.jpg

MOD Confirms Changes To Base Closure Plans

Alterations to a 25-year property strategy will secure the home of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery at Napier Lines.

King's Troops Royal Artillery standing still for inspection at Woolwich Barracks 110320 CREDIT BFBS_1.jpg

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has announced changes to a property portfolio overhaul, moving some base closures forward.

The 25-year Defence Estate Optimisation (DEO) strategy has already seen many sites shut down since 2016 as part of attempts to reduce the MOD’s footprint and focus investment into prioritised properties.

Jeremy Quin, Minister for Defence Procurement, has now announced changes to the timeline.

The British Army’s Defence Support Group in Colchester will now be disposed of in 2021 rather than 2022, while the closure of nearby Middlewick Ranges has been pushed back to 2022.

The disposal of Fort Blockhouse 1 in Gosport will now be delayed by at least three years to 2023 at the earliest, while the remainder of the Southwick Park site in Fareham will now shut in 2031, rather than 2025.

Military requirements are said to be the reason behind these alterations.

Ministry of Defence building
The Ministry of Defence is four years into a 25-year strategy to prioritise key defence sites for investment and reduce its footprint (Picture: PA).

Though the closure of Woolwich Barracks will continue broadly as planned, the purpose-built Napier Lines will be isolated as the long-term home of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, since the ceremonial unit moved there in 2012.

As part of the Forthside Stirling disposal in 2022, two parcels of land will be exchanged to aid future development.

The remainder of both Forthside Stirling and Woolwich Barracks will continue to be disposed of as planned, according to Mr Quin.

Investment in more than 25,000 new and refurbished houses and single-living accommodation is expected to fall under DEO plans.

Meanwhile, there is also work being done to secure contemporary office space for more than 12,000 people, and 63 specialist military workshops and garages.

The Ministerial statement also made clear that more adjustments could be made to the DEO plan as time goes on.

Want to know if your base is closing? Read the full list here.