Around 15 unauthorised incursions into Faslane and Coulport have been recorded in the last 10 years.
Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde, primarily sited at Faslane near Glasgow, is the Royal Navy’s headquarters in Scotland and is best known as the home of Britain’s nuclear weapons, in the form of nuclear submarines armed with Trident missiles.
The Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Coulport, 8 miles from Faslane, is responsible for the storage, processing, maintenance and issue of key elements of the UK’s Trident Deterrent Missile System and the ammunitioning of all submarine embarked weapons. The base has up to 16 reinforced concrete bunkers built into the hillside on the eastern shore of Loch Long.
Deidre Brock, the Shadow SNP Spokesperson for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, asked via a written Parliamentary question:
“To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many unauthorised incursions there have been at (a) Faslane and (b) Coulport naval bases in each of the past ten years.”
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, answered:
“Unauthorised access is defined as an individual, or individuals, gaining access to a defined Restricted access area within HMNB Clyde by circumventing the site security system. There was no risk to the safety of personnel or vessels arising from these incidents.”
Faslane is the second biggest single-site employer in Scotland, after the new Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow which employs around 11,000 staff. Direct employment at the base is currently around 6,500 with many more thousands dependent on the base for jobs through the supply chain. It is understood that around 11,000 are directly and indirectly reliant on the base.
All 11 Royal Navy submarines will be based on the Clyde at Faslane from 2020, seeing the number of people directly employed at the base rising to 8,200.