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Private Cleon Walters moved into the new single living accommodation at Aldershot Garrison in May after serving for four months with the 27th Transport Regiment in Afghanistan. On their return, they moved straight into the new barracks thanks to the early completion of building work.
The accommodation was built and is managed by construction and facilities management company, Aspire Defence, which is delivering an £8bn project to transform garrisons across Salisbury Plain and at Aldershot for the benefit of 18,700 soldiers.
“I’m very impressed with the new accommodation – it’s really top drawer. I now have my own bathroom, loads of storage space and the common room means I can have the boys around for dominos or cards,” Cleon said.
“Most of us eat in the new diner, but we’ve now got a kitchen for when we get hungry later in the evening. We didn’t have any of this before so it’s a great improvement – I’d give it eight and half out of ten.”
Feedback from soldiers on this step change in accommodation standards has been overwhelmingly positive and it is hoped that the new living quarters will help improve retention rates.
Cleon comments: “I think the new accommodation should persuade people to stay in the Army – it’s such a big improvement.”
Cleon lives in St. Omer Barracks, the first barracks at Aldershot to be built under the £8bn PFI project, Allenby/Connaught.
The project has sustainability at its heart and Cleon thinks that this has been well-received by soldiers. “You definitely get the feeling that the new buildings are more environmentally friendly. We now have four to five bins to separate our rubbish and they’re well used and a brilliant addition.”
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