Official opening of JRSLA village at Larkhill
“It’s like a state-of-the-art hotel room”
This was the verdict of Bombardier Georgie Clarke, 21 Air Assault Battery 32 RA, [above left] when asked for his impressions of the new Junior Ranks’ Single Living Accommodation (JR SLA) at Larkhill.
The new JR SLA village was opened by Lt Gen James Bashall CBE, Commander Home Command [above centre], on Wednesday 27 September, providing 378 bed spaces for soldiers based at the Royal School of Artillery on Salisbury Plain Training Area.
The arrival of the first SLA ‘Modular Units’ (bedrooms) took place at Larkhill in November 2016. Just ten months later, the JRSLA village has been completed, handed over and buildings are now being occupied.
In total over 1300 bed spaces will be provided at Larkhill, including 322 for other ranks. The new accommodation is being delivered by Army Basing through a variation to the 35-year Project/Allenby Connaught (PAC) contract held by Aspire Defence Limited with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).
Speaking to media attending the official opening, Bombardier Sean Gavin, 21 Air Assault Battery RA, [above right] said:
“My first impression was the amount of space. It blows [our old accommodation] out of the water.”
In addition to the SLA, new and improved technical, office, catering, retail and leisure facilities are being provided across Salisbury Plain garrisons, to ensure soldiers work and live in the best possible environment. Health and education facilities will also be completed outside the barracks for military and civilian use.
The construction programme is being carried out by Aspire Defence Capital Works. Once completed, the new assets will be maintained under the facilities management services contract held by Aspire Defence Services Limited, until the PAC contract ends in 2041.
Lieutenant General James Bashall CBE, Commander Home Command said:
“I am delighted to officially open the new Junior Ranks Single Living Accommodation village at Larkhill. I am very pleased to see first class accommodation being provided for our serving personnel. The facilities being delivered by the Army Basing Programme are an excellent example of the investment being put into infrastructure across the UK.”
Mark Duddy, ABP Programme Director said:
“It’s exciting to see the completion of these modern en-suite facilities so soon after construction started. I am delighted with the pace of construction across all ABP PAC sites by our trusted and valued contractors Aspire in support of the Army Basing Programme and of our Service personnel. I look forward to seeing future projects complete across Salisbury Plain in support of the Army rebasing from Germany in 2019.”
Allan Thomson, Chief Executive of Aspire Defence Limited added:
“Our construction partners have worked extremely hard to complete this accommodation, less than a year since the first modules arrived at Larkhill Garrison. We are delighted to handover these assets, which represent a significant proportion of the new and improved infrastructure we are delivering to support the Army Basing Programme. These modern, purpose-built JRSLAs demonstrate the excellent standard of soldiers’ living accommodation which Aspire Defence continues to successfully deliver on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and the Army.”
The new infrastructure will support forces returning from Germany and relocating within the UK under the Army Basing Programme, which aims to bring all military units back from Germany by 2020. The construction programme is on schedule to enable units based in Germany to return to the UK by 2019, resulting in savings to Defence of up to £240 million per year by 2022/23.