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Defence Estates is an executive agency of the Ministry of Defence (MoD), in the United Kingdom, which is responsible for the built and rural estate. It is controls 2,400 square kilometres which is about 1% of the area of the UK (244,820 km²).

Contents

Administration

The Agency is managed by a Chief Executive, currently Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence. He succeeded Vice Admiral Peter Dunt, CB on 30 April 2007 and a previous Chief Executive was Sir Ian Andrews (now Second Permanent Under Secretary of the Ministry of Defence).

Management of this very large and diverse business relies on a multiplicity of partnerships, not only with industry but also with many Statutory Bodies and NGOs. It also requires an extremely close relationship with those who use the estate - the Armed Forces - to ensure that it meets the requirements to maintain operational capability.

It is based on Kingston Road in Whitehouse Common, Sutton Coldfield. There are other office sites at Andover in Hampshire, Tilshead near Salisbury in Wiltshire, Waterbeach in Cambridge and Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire.

Portfolio

The Agency's property portfolio is diverse and ranges from naval bases and airfields to forces housing and military training grounds. Many of these sites are of national heritage or of archaeological importance. The Agency also has responsibility for the overseas estates of the MoD.

Aims and mission

Defence Estates is responsible for the day to day estates activity through a wide range of maintenance, construction and sustainability issues, with an annual budget of some £1 bn and direct responsibility for over 4,000 staff. The Agency became a Top Level Budget from 1 April 2005.

The Agency’s mission is “to deliver estate solutions to defence needs”. Its vision, which follows on from this, is to “provide an estate of the right size and quality, which is managed and developed effectively in line with acknowledged best practice, and which is sensitive to social and environmental considerations”.

Rationalisation and consolidation

Management of the MoD estate as a corporate asset includes rationalisation and consolidation, working towards focusing the Ministry's activities onto fewer, larger sites. Since 1998/1999 DE has disposed of land and facilities surplus to requirements to the value of £1.46 billion. In devising and implementing an agreed plan with its customers, DE provides a corporate and long-term view of defence requirements consistent with the Estate Strategy. This will assist in focusing MoD’s use of and future investment in its estate, to meet defence requirements for an estate of the optimum size and quality.

The Agency is pursuing a Prime Contracting Initiative to provide better value for money; this involves fewer, larger contacts for the maintenance of the estate and projects. The maintenance of the UK estate will be carried out through five Regional Prime Contracts; in Scotland, the South West, South East, Central and East have already been let. The Agency is also managing a variety of other large contracts, for example, providing for Single Living Accommodation and the outsourcing of water and wastewater. Additionally, since 2004 the Agency has been responsible for the maintenance of Service housing, this will be enhanced through the Housing Prime Contract, which was awarded in late 2005. From April 2006 the Agency will take responsibility for the functional prime contract for delivering estate services to the Army Training Estate across the UK. Additionally, Defence Estates provides worldwide estate security services to the MoD through its Security Services Group.

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