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Opportunities for work are improving in the military sector as spending on construction work surges.

New prime minister Liz Truss has pledged to double defence spending to £100 billion a year by 2030 but military construction work is already rising.

In the 12 months to August 2022, Glenigan’s industry research recorded contracts on 31 defence-related schemes being awarded. The total value of these construction contracts was £465 million, which is a rise of 260% on the figure of £129 million recorded in the preceding 12 months.

Glenigan economics director Allan Wilén comments: “The Ministry of Defence is a key construction industry client through its subsidiary the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and our research shows that both in terms of work moving to site and in the pipeline, work looks likely to increase.”

The biggest military project to start has been a £259 million redevelopment of the MoD’s site at the Defence & Equipment Support base at Ashchurch near Tewkesbury South West England (Project ID: 21191085).

Skanska has the main contract for the Vehicle Storage Support Programme, which comprises demolition of 58 buildings, construction of 12 new buildings and refurbishment of one existing facility and improving site-wide infrastructure. The work, which has just started, will run for around five years and generate an estimated 400 jobs.

Military Contract Awards by Region

REGION Value of Projects (£m)
South West 283
Scotland 112
East of England 21
South East 20
East Midlands 13
West Midlands 10
Northern Ireland 3
Yorkshire & Humberside 3
London 0
North East 0
North West 0
Wales 0

Smaller work going ahead

The Ashchurch scheme has inflated the overall spending figure but Glenigan’s construction industry research shows that a host of smaller military schemes have also recently got the go-ahead.

The Scottish arm of Irish contractor McLaughlin & Harvey has landed the contractor’s role on a £16 million development programme at RAF Lossiemouth (Project ID: 22093158). The scheme, which includes a new aircraft control tower, started in September.

Also in Scotland, Morrison picked up a £5 million contract to refurbish a military base at Fort George near Inverness, where work is expected to start before Christmas (Project ID: 22161162)

Military planning

Military work in the pipeline is also strengthening. Glenigan’s industry research has identified £372 million-worth of defence schemes securing planning permission in the 12 months to August 2022.

This figure includes the Ashchurch development and is a rise of 359% on the total for the previous year, but a host of smaller schemes are moving through the procurement cycle.

Military Projects with Planning Approval by Region

REGION Value of Projects (£m)
South West 296
South East 26
Scotland 22
East Midlands 16
East of England 5
Wales 5
Northern Ireland 2
London 0
North East 0
North West 0
West Midlands 0
Yorkshire & Humberside 0

Work coming up includes a £25 million extension of Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk (Project ID: 22326899). Glenigan’s market analysis shows that tenders have been returned and a start is anticipated next April.

Construction is also due to start on a £6 million plan for a new accommodation block at the Kendrew Barracks in Leicestershire (Project ID: 22163636). Consultants Arcadis and HLM are working on the plans, which were submitted for planning last month.

Other longer-term schemes are also being considered including redevelopment of Catterick Barracks, where 21 Engineer Regiment is due to relocate form Ripon in 2025 (Project ID: 22355399).

Extra investment has been earmarked through the Defence Estate Optimisation Programme and assessment studies are being carried out to deliver options for proposed works that will provide opportunities for the construction industry further out.

Glenigan customers can see details of all new military construction work if part of your subscription.

Not a Glenigan customer, but would like to see detailed sales leads for all new military construction work? Request a free demo of Glenigan today so we can show the size of the opportunity for your business.

Not a Glenigan Customer?

Request a free demo of Glenigan today so we can show the size of the opportunity for your business.