Defence secretary Des Browne has pledged an additional £80m to the £350m Single Living Accommodation Modernisation (SLAM) Phase Two project to improve accommodation for military personnel.
It follows a damning report from the House of Commons’ defence select committee on Defence Estates, which highlights a number of concerns about the state of domestic barracks, which were deemed “unacceptable”.
Project SLAM provides single en-suite rooms for trained personnel of all ranks, and is aimed at impacting on the recruitment and retention of servicemen and women, which is undergoing a difficult period.
Total funding for the entire project has now increased to £1.4bn, with the new funding enabling the provision of a further 1,350 new en-suite rooms. This will bring the grand total to 15,000 rooms in the next six years for members of the Armed Forces.
Browne said: “The nation owes our servicemen and women a huge debt of gratitude for the hard work they do on our behalf. A crucial part of this is the welfare package we give our personnel – and central to this is providing good quality accommodation.
“This new money offers an excellent opportunity to make a real difference to our servicemen and women, and underlines the priority we place on this issue,” he added.
The Ministry of Defence spent £700m on housing accommodation last year, and said it expected to spend £5bn in the next decade.