The announcement marks the second phase of a plan – known as the Midlands Medical Accommodation (MMA) Project – which will ensure that the area becomes the central focus for military medical expertise and assets. The decision to award the contract is subject to conditions precedent, which means that Carillion plc must still meet certain conditions such as securing planning permission.
Minister for Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Andrew Robathan said:
"The men and women who serve in our Armed Forces deserve the highest standard of medical care and I am committed to delivering the very best. The Government has today invested in first class medical training facilities that will be a key component of providing a base from which to exploit and sustain progress in military medicine that will make a real difference to our troops"
The first phase - MMA Increment 1 - has already delivered a modern headquarters office building at Defence Medical Services (DMS) Whittington near Lichfield. This now houses the Surgeon General’s strategic Headquarters and those of the Joint Medical Command, both of which are fully operational.
The new phase – MMA Increment 2 - will see the DMS relocate from Keogh Barracks in Surrey to a new modern training centre in Whittington.
The new complex will include training facilities; a learning centre; a lecture theatre; messes for Officers, Warrant Officers and Senior Non Commissioned Officers; Service living accommodation for permanent staff and a new Junior Ranks’ dining and leisure facility.
Work is expected to begin on site at the beginning of summer 2011, with the relocation planned to begin at the end of 2013. Once completed, the site will be home to approximately 1400 people. The new facilities will be delivered by Defence Estates.
Surgeon General, Surgeon Vice Admiral Philip Raffaelli, said:
"This is tremendous news which confirms our commitment to investing in the Defence Medical Services, and building on our Community of Excellence in the West Midlands and with the Royal Centre of Defence Medicine in Birmingham. This is also excellent news for our friends and neighbours in the local community who have already shown their support."
Defence Estates project manager, Dave Lawson said:
"Defence Estates’ top priority is supporting our Armed Forces. We look forward to delivering the next phase of facilities that will put DMS Whittington at the heart of providing medical support for the UK’s military personnel."