A new agreement is set to unlock millions of pounds of investment in infrastructure and housing to complement the hundreds of millions being spent expanding HM Naval Base Clyde in Scotland.
The memorandum of understanding was signed yesterday by the UK Government, Royal Navy and Argyll & Bute Community Planning Partnership. HMNB Clyde will work with the council in delivering infrastructure and opportunities for Royal Navy families and local people.
Work will focus on key themes including education, economy, community facilities, communication, transportation and housing.
The MOD is investing hundreds of millions of pounds in developing HM Naval Base Clyde as the Royal Navy Submarine Centre of Specialisation. This will see all UK attack submarines based in Argyll & Bute by 2020, and the eventual arrival of the Dreadnought class of ballistic submarines.
Secretary of state for Scotland David Mundell said: “We must ensure this investment in the base is also a catalyst for growth and regeneration in the wider community. Today’s agreement will deliver new housing and improved infrastructure, ensuring people in Argyll and Bute benefit directly from hosting the base.”
Minister for defence veterans, reserves and personnel Mark Lancaster said: “This agreement ensures the investment we are making to upgrade HMNB Clyde, as part of the £1.7bn we are spending to improve military bases in Scotland, will not only help provide our people and their families with more stability and a better environment to work in, but will also help transform the local area, providing skilled jobs and better infrastructure.”
Councillor Dick Walsh, leader of Argyll and Bute Council and chair of the Argyll and Bute Community Planning Partnership, said: “This agreement is about making the development of HMNB Clyde work for Navy personnel, their families and the communities in Argyll they will be joining. It’s about delivering opportunities for new residents and local people to build happy, prosperous lives together. Helensburgh and its surrounding areas offer great benefits as a place to live, work and visit, and we very much look forward to welcoming new Navy friends and neighbours.”
Naval base commander Commodore Mark Gayfer said that there are tremendous opportunities for mutual benefit, such as our redevelopment of the Drumfork Club in Helensburgh, building new sports facilities and the UK government’s £5m of support for the council’s waterfront redevelopment. “Through its redevelopment HMNB Clyde will grow its staff numbers from 6,800 today to an eventual population of 8,200. The construction phases are expected to support a further 1,000 contractor jobs.”