RAF Lyneham: Bids invited for £230m defence college

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A Ministry of Defence contract to turn a Wiltshire airbase into a defence training centre could be worth £230m.

RAF Lyneham is due to close at the end of the year and contractors are being sought to convert the site into a new technical training college.

The contract for the first phase of the project has been valued by The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) at between £180m and £230m.

Construction is due to start in early 2014 and be completed by December 2015.

The decision to close RAF Lyneham was made by the MoD in 2002 as part of a strategic review of military bases.

Last year, the Hercules transporter planes were moved to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire along with many of the 4,500 military and civilian personnel.

Two year project

The planned Defence Technical Training College will comprise three main training schools, electronic and mechanical engineering, aeronautical engineering, and communications and information systems.

Training in maintaining machinery and military equipment which currently takes place at Bordon, in Hampshire, and Arborfield, in Berkshire, will be transferred to the new college.

Redevelopment plans include workshops, classrooms and laboratories, as well as sports and welfare facilities and some refurbished military accommodation.

There will also be an outdoor training area to simulate scenarios such as recovering overturned vehicles.

The first phase of development will include demolition of existing buildings, essential infrastructure work, new buildings and refurbishment of facilities.

A DIO spokesperson said: "The first phase is to co-locate the schools at Bordon and Arborfield into Lyneham by 2015 with the remainder following in later tranches.

"The DIO is working closely alongside the change programme team and is currently inviting expressions of interest from industry partners to work with us on delivering the first phase of the project."

The successful contractor will take sole responsibility for delivering the project.

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