The 2010 strategic defence and security review identified a number of Ministry of Defence (MOD) assets that would be considered for disposal. I would like to update the House on progress we have made on our commitment to sell the Marchwood sea mounting centre in Hampshire.
Sea mounting activities are vital to meeting the UK’s military requirements and will remain so in future. Our personnel at Marchwood, including 17 Port and Maritime
Regiment, deliver a key capability to our armed forces overseas and the centre provides a valuable training facility for them at home.
Options for the sale of Marchwood have therefore been assessed with the continued availability of these capabilities in mind, including consideration of alternative UK locations from which sea mounting activities could be undertaken.
Based on this work I can reaffirm the intention to sell Marchwood. However, our analysis has led us to conclude that the preferred option is to continue to meet the sea mounting requirement from the same site. This will ensure that the military outputs can still be met while allowing greater economic and commercial benefit to be realised from the site. In doing so we envisage a much closer relationship between the MOD and industry in delivering these capabilities from a privately owned sea mounting centre.
MOD will now focus on developing the commercial proposal by the end of this year. Any sale will be dependent on the prevailing market conditions at the time, and the transaction will need to demonstrate that the required, assured defence capability can be delivered in a way which represents value for money.