Peter Luff, Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, has announced today, 12 July, that it is still the MOD’s intention to sell Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre in Hampshire.Employing military and civilian personnel, the centre delivers essential sea mounting capabilities that contribute to the Defence output.
A commitment to the sale of assets such as Marchwood was made in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDMarchwood military port
SR) to contribute to the reduction of departmental running costs, allowing resources to be focused on the front line.
Since the SDSR announcement, as part of the Asset Management Programme within our transformation programme, work has continued looking at the options for the sale of Marchwood. This is being led by the Business Strategy and Governance team in MOD.
Mr Luff said: “Sea mounting activities are vital to meeting the UK’s military requirements and will remain so in future. Our personnel at Marchwood, including 17 Port and Maritime Regiment, deliver a key capability to our Armed Forces overseas and provide a valuable training facility for them at home.
“Options for the sale of Marchwood have been assessed with the retention of these capabilities in mind. This has included consideration of alternative UK locations from which sea mounting activities could be undertaken.”
The Asset Management Programme examines MOD business assets and considers how they can be managed more effectively, including considering the role of privatisation and contracting out where assets do not need to be held in the public sector to ensure their output.
Today’s announcement confirms the MOD’s intention to deliver sea mounting capabilities from a privately-owned centre, but from the same site.
Mr Luff continued: “Based on the work to date I can confirm that the intention to sell Marchwood remains. However, the preferred option is to continue to meet the sea mounting requirement from the same site.
“This will ensure that the military outputs can still be met while allowing greater economic and commercial benefits to be realised from the site.
“In doing so we envisage a much closer relationship between the MOD and industry in delivering these capabilities from a privately-owned Sea Mounting Centre.”
The MOD will now focus on developing the commercial proposal by the end of this year.
Any sale will be dependent on the prevailing market conditions at the time, and the transaction will need to demonstrate that the required, assured Defence capability can be delivered in a way which represents value for money.
Due to the potential impact on civilian personnel, an essential part of the project has been engagement with the Trade Unions, and this will continue.
All personnel at the Marchwood Sea Mounting Centre are today being briefed about this announcement.