A NORTH Yorkshire garrison is set to see a huge boost in funding as part of a Government programme to modernise service family accommodation over the next two years.

Catterick Garrison has so far received £3.5 million investment as part of a Government goal to improve service family accommodation in the area.

The Northern Echo:

The programme is aimed at modernising accommodation and improving facilities in an attempt to improve the home lives for British armed forces personnel.

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The programme is being led by the Ministry of Defence and is part of a country-wide initiative to boost defence funding.

Over the next 10 years, £1.5 billion will be spent on improving accommodation for service families to help people stay in the armed forces and “have longer careers,” according to Minister of Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty.

He said: “I think it’s really awesome, having looked around a newly refurbished service family quarter, and coming from a service family background myself, and now being the MP for Aldershot, which has a very large garrison and lots of service families, I’ve been really impressed with the quality of the upgrade.

The Northern Echo:

“For too many years, defence accommodation was underfunded, that’s why we are ramping up that funding, and we have a huge amount of money coming to service family accommodation over the next 10 years.

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“We’ve got 1.5 billion, over the next 10 years and that’s a recognition that if we want a thriving armed forces, we’ve got to have deep and significant defence structure in service families.

“It’s about the whole offer and historically poor accommodation has meant that too many people leave the armed forces too soon.”

Peter Bush, Defence Infrastructure Organisation Accommodation North lead, said: “It’s been an essential boost to the local economy after such a difficult time that many of these contractors have found themselves in.

"They have been very grateful that the chancellor gave this additional boost to funding and into these projects.

“We do continuously make improvements where required, this has just given us the ability to do a much bigger upgrade of properties, so we are continuously investing in the estate, within the limits of our budget."

The programme will be in place for two years and is currently halfway through its completion.

The Northern Echo:

Captain John Craib, a service family member living at Catterick Garrison, said: “So I’m one of the service families so I moved into Catterick Garrison about a year ago from Edinburgh, and I was placed into a non-refurbished service family accommodation to start with.

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“I got a notification that my quarter was up for refurbishment, and I was moved into a refurbished property.

“Coming from one that is due to be refurbished and one that has already been refurbished is a massive difference, the workmanship is better and it’s just a nicer place to live really.

“The standard varies from location to location, but I’ve not had a bad experience yet and I’ve been doing this for 28 years and I think probably 18 of those have been in service family accommodation.

“So, no I’ve not had a bad experience but as long as you’re quite content to up sticks every two years and move then it is grand."


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