28 July 2008
Under-Secretary of State for Defence Bob Twigg has marked
another significant step forward in the regeneration of Armed
Forces accommodation by joining the Army’s Regional Forces
Commander, Lieutenant General Nick Parker, to open new soldiers
living accommodation in Aldershot, the Home of the British
The new buildings at Aldershot Garrison have been delivered
under one of defence’s largest estates PFIs - Project
Allenby/Connaught - marking a milestone in the transformation of
accommodation. The PFI contract with Aspire Defence Ltd (a
consortium of Carillion, KBR and HSBC) is an ambitious programme of
redevelopment that will last 35 years and is worth some £8
Aspire will deliver and maintain 11,500 single en-suite bedrooms
together with dining centres and new facilities such as theatres
and community centres, supporting the changing needs of the Army
for more than 18,700 military personnel in garrisons across
Salisbury Plain and Aldershot.
A team from our land planning division, Capita Lovejoy – led by
Associate Zoe Cleary - has provided services such as feasibility
and scheme design on various parts of the project since late 2002.
The team’s work has included landscape input to the masterplanning
of the original bid and outline planning submissions; landscape and
visual impact assessment; detailed landscape planning submissions;
scheme design; detailed design; tender; construction; and
assistance with inspections on site.
Bob Twigg and General Parker toured the new living
accommodation, which houses soldiers from 27 Transport Regiment,
before the official opening last week.
Bob Twigg said: “The standard of accommodation being provided by
Project Allenby/Connaught really is first rate and no less than the
soldiers deserve. Aldershot is the home of the British Army and I
am delighted to have been invited to open the new accommodation and
meet some of the soldiers living here. 27 Transport Regiment has
recently returned from an operational deployment to Afghanistan,
and their new accommodation was delivered early so that could move
in immediately. But there is more to this than just accommodation.
This is a further demonstration of our commitment to improve the
lot of our Armed Forces, of whom we demand and expect a huge
“I am extremely impressed with what I have seen and by the scale
of what has already been achieved under Project Allenby/Connaught.
Already, in a little over two years since the contract was signed,
more than 2,000 soldiers are living in new en suite accommodation
and more than 100 new and refurbished buildings have been handed
over to the Army,” he added.
Project Allenby/Connaught has its origins in the 1998 Strategic
Defence Review, which identified a requirement for more Army units
to be accommodated in the Salisbury Plain and Aldershot Garrison
areas, as well as delivering on the commitment to improve the
living and working environment of Army personnel. The Project
footprint covers the garrisons of Tidworth, Bulford, Perham Down,
Larkhill and Warminster on Salisbury Plain and Aldershot
This is a further demonstration of our commitment to improve the lot of our Armed Forces, of whom we demand and expect a huge amount.
The buildings in Aldershot comprise six 36-man blocks, providing
216 single en-suite bedrooms for senior and junior ranks, a large
“Super Diner” capable of feeding 450 personnel in a single sitting,
and an office building housing a garrison headquarters and an Army
Education Centre. Sustainable features such as solar panels have
been incorporated, as have special measures to encourage and
protect local wildlife.
Commander Regional Forces Lieutenant General Nick Parker said:
“I have been fortunate to have seen the progress made by Project
Allenby Connaught in garrisons around Salisbury Plain but I am
hugely encouraged by what I have seen here today. This is the
beginning of a major transformation in Aldershot which will see the
construction of a further 130 new or refurbished buildings and in
all some 2,425 new or refurbished en suite bedspaces will be
provided, in this Garrison alone. Investment on this scale
will go some way to addressing the shortcomings in Army
accommodation and I would like to express my sincere thanks to all
those involved in making it happen.”
“There is a still much more to come in Aldershot and elsewhere
in garrisons benefiting from this project, shows that we really are
making soldiers lives better. The soldiers are getting exactly what
they deserve. But we must not take the foot off the pedal. There
remains much to be done but Allenby/Connaught is demonstrating what
can be achieved,” he added.
Zoe Cleary, Capita Lovejoy, said: “As well as providing quality
new living accommodation, for the first time on these sites
soldiers will have the opportunity to relax out of working hours in
semi-private garden areas which are enclosed by the cluster of
their accommodation blocks and new landscape features - providing a
greatly enhanced quality of life”