Complex and strategic problems often require the engagement of trusted partners to advise and assist in the delivery of practical solutions. We have a proven track record and are a long-term, trusted framework consultant to the Ministry of Defence, both key factors in why we were commissioned to advise on the most significant UK military estates optimisation programme since the 1930s.
Major changes announced by the Secretary of State for Defence to the structure of the British army will see the army maintain its national presence across the UK, but with an increased concentration in seven major centres of gravity. The project to achieve this is known as the Regular Army Basing Plan. These structural changes follow previous announcement form the UK Government including the Autumn 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review which committed to the return of all 20,000 British troops from Germany, and the Army 2020 plan published in Spring 2011, which set out the future structure of the Army in the UK.
We have been working with Ministry of Defence since March 2011, assessing the capacity of their estate in the UK as part of the Basing Optimisation Programme which provided the information and evidence needed to shape the Regular Army Basing Plan. This involved investigating the various options for how the military units could fit into the existing UK defence real estate and carefully assessing the costs associated with each option.
Working in partnership
Working in partnership with Mott MacDonald and URS and Defence Infrastructure Organisation employees, together we formed an integrated project team. We provided a signification team of multi-discipline WYG employees to work on the programme from the far north of Scotland to the south west in Devon. The scale of the task and the project timescales involved provided a considerable challenge, but working with our partners, we developed a bespoke planning and cost modelling tool, able to simulate numerous options for the optimum alternative use or rationalisation of the estate property. This empowered our client to make decisions on the future of their estates, in a way that was sensitive to numerous political, social and economic considerations, whilst meeting the needs of Army personnel and their families.
It is anticipated that savings of £240m a year will be generated by the withdrawal of British troops from Germany. The plans will also help fulfil the Government’s commitment to providing regular army personnel with more certainty about where they will be based in the future. This forms part of the wider commitment to give service personnel and their families greater stability, allowing them to integrate into local community, their spouses to find long-term jobs and their children to have continuity of education.
Strategic and flexible
Our ability to mobilise industry experts on high profile and sensitive projects such as this is one of our key strengths. Creative and strategic thinking, our partnering ability and flexibility is why we were able to deliver a fact-based evidence set that enabled decisions to be made on the UK basing arrangements for the British Army for the foreseeable future. Once the Regular Army Basing Plan is realised, not only will army personnel and their families have a stable base from which to live and work, Britain as a whole will benefit thanks to the economic savings delivered by the project.
“On a large scale programme such as this, the provision of data and planning tools by WYG and the integrated project team, enabled informed decision making contributing to a successful Ministerial announcement.” - Bill Yardley, Director of Strategic Programmes, Defence Infrastructure Organisation, MOD.