Wiltshire has a long and proud history of association with the military. This was further strengthened in March 2013 when the government announced thousands of service personnel would be making Wiltshire their permanent home by the end of the decade.
Image: Defence Imagery
As part of the government's Army Basing Programme, an additional 4,000 service personnel and their families are due to move to Wiltshire by the end of the decade. The MOD is investing in excess of £1bn into the Wiltshire elements of the programme. It is a significant boost to the economy of Wiltshire providing hundreds of new jobs in addition to the extra army posts. 5 RIFLES moved to Salisbury Plain in summer 2016 and further relocations from Germany and other parts of the United Kingdom will take place in the summer of 2019. These moves will increase the population of Wiltshire by approximately 7,000. This includes an additional 500 personnel at Lyneham due to the relocation of 5 Battalion (REME) from Tidworth, Belford and Germany under later revisions to the programme.Close
Since that announcement, Wiltshire Council has been working closely with key partners to ensure the right level of facilities and services including education, transport, leisure and healthcare provision are in place in time for the relocation of service personnel and their families.
One of those key partners is the MOD's Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which is responsible for procuring, managing and maintaining the MOD estate, as well as providing related support services to the MOD.Close
The Defence Infrastructure Organisation is providing service family accommodation (SFA) of some 900 new dwellings at Bulford, Ludgershall and Larkhill in addition to purchasing 100 homes at Tidworth. The Section 106 agreement negotiated to grant planning permission for the totality of the SFA, granted in the Autumn of 2016, provides funding for 1,125 new school places, 90 early years places, as well as contributions for other infrastructure necessitated by the programme.
There are also plans for a number of new buildings and extensions to existing facilities in its establishments at Perham Down, Larkhill, Bulford and Tidworth to provide additional training, living, mess and technical capacity.
Liaison visits are planned Wiltshire Council staff visiting the service personnel and their families in Germany and groups from Germany visiting Wiltshire to find out details on schools and information on settling in the UK. The first visit in Germany for the relocation of 5 RIFLES took place in July 2015 and a further visit is planned for 6th to 7th September 2018. The NHS and Wiltshire College are also part of this visit.
In planning this work, Wiltshire Council and the MOD are engaging other public authorities such as the NHS and the emergency services to ensure plans are sustainable to deliver services to the military community without detriment to the civilian community.
Communities have been kept informed of progress via Area Board briefings and regular newsletters, which are issued to parish councils within the Amesbury, Pewsey, Tidworth and Warminster community areas.Close