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The UK’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has awarded a £560m contract to Landmarc Support Services to manage training areas used by the country’s armed forces, with the deal set to sustain over 1,300 jobs aligned with the Defence Training Estate.

According to a 10 May release by the UK Government, the contract will also deliver additional services to training troops, including providing them with around four million meals a year and approximately one million bed spaces.

Comprising 16 major armed forces training areas and 104 minor training areas including ranges and camps, the 156,000-hectare UK Defence Training Estate includes sites from Salisbury Plain in the southwest to Barry Buddon in Scotland.

Through the new contract, Landmarc, which is a joint venture between Mitie and Amentum, will provide UK and visiting armed forces facilities to enable military training exercises to take place.

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By GlobalData

UK Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge, stated that the UK training estate covers around 1% of land in the country and played a “crucial role” in preparing UK military forces for operations, while also supporting foreign countries seeking to utilise the capability, as is the case with Ukrainian recruits under Operation Interflex.

More than 10,000 Ukrainian recruits have undergone a condensed battlefield infantry course at sites in the UK, before returning to their homeland to conduct operations against Russian forces. The UK has also provided specialist armoured vehicle training to Ukrainian tank crews, prior to the delivery of 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine.

The shrinking UK defence estate

In March this year it was revealed that the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) had raised nearly £700m in sale proceeds from defence estate disposals since Q4 2016, as the department seeks to rationalise land holdings across England, Wales, and Scotland.

The maintenance and upkeep of the MoD’s various defence sites is one of the leading costs, which could be reduced through a consolidation of more numerous bases into larger sites. In turn, this could also raise significant revenues for defence at a time when budgets are stretched across government. 

According to a written UK parliamentary response, it was stated that the sum raised from defence estate disposal between 7 November 2016 and 1 February 2023 totalled £691m.

The sales effort is being carried by out under the Defence Estate Optimisation portfolio, formed in November 2016 as part of a 25-year strategy to modernise the defence estate.