Massive cuts anticipated following the release of the government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review today

Defence Estates is facing huge cuts as the government says it could generate £350m a year in savings from the Ministry of Defence’s property arm.

As part of its Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), the government has revealed, just ahead of the CSR, that such huge savings could come from: “the rationalisation of the defence estate including the sale of surplus land and buildings and associated running cost reductions and running cost savings across the estate of up to £350m per year, including a revised approach to the way in which we manage and deliver infrastructure services across the estate as some of the ways these could be realised.”

The report continued: “Our final decisions on the defence estate that we will need in 2020 will be taken on the basis of detailed investment appraisals and wider impact assessments. We plan to be as open as we can be and to take decisions as quickly as possible in order to minimise uncertainty for the communities affected. Our aim will be that our Armed Forces will continue to be based in a way which is sensitive to economic and social pressures and the needs of defence, our people and their families.”

A spokesperson for Defence Estates said: “We have not made decisions on the future use of any bases. Our current estate is widely dispersed in a manner which owes more to history than to its efficient use. We will therefore use the opportunity of the force structure changes to develop a more coherent and cost-effective solution. This will include, for example, looking at the re-use of former RAF bases by the Army.”