The plans for a new submarine training facility at Faslane were “very well received” at a public consultation event, according to the Ministry of Defence.

A spokesman said:

“The pre-application consultation in Garelochhead was very well received and we would like to thank everyone who attended and expressed an interest. We are now looking forward to progressing the application.”

The company behind the development say it will prepare the base for the “next generation of ballistic missile submarines and extend the life of existing nuclear facilities for another 25 years.”

John Laverty, of VolkerStevin, said:

“We look forward to welcoming a wide range of contractors to the event on February 9. We want to deliver opportunities for residents and local businesses and we hope to meet and develop relationships with a number of SMEs in the local area.”

Then Defence Secretary Michael Fallon visited Scotland last year to confirm £1.7 billion of funding for military bases. The £1.7bn includes £1.3bn for upgrades at Faslane and £400 million for a new runway and related facilities at RAF Lossiemouth which will host the P-8 maritime patrol aircraft fleet and an additional typhoon squadron.

Through its redevelopment. HMNB Clyde will grow its staff numbers from 6,800 today to an eventual population of 8,200. The construction phases are expected to support a further 1,000 contractor jobs.

Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said:

“The UK’s entire submarine fleet will be based at Faslane by 2020. This will reinforce Scotland’s vital role in protecting our country, and guarantee skilled, secure jobs on the Clyde for years to come.

We must ensure this investment in the base is also a catalyst for growth and regeneration in the wider community. Today’s agreement will deliver new housing and improved infrastructure, ensuring people in Argyll and Bute benefit directly from hosting the base.”

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.

Minister for Defence Veterans, Reserves and Personnel Mark Lancaster, said at the time of the announcement last year:

“This agreement ensures the investment we are making to upgrade HMNB Clyde, as part of the £1.7bn we are spending to improve military bases in Scotland, will not only help provide our people and their families with more stability and a better environment to work in, but will also help transform the local area, providing skilled jobs and better infrastructure.”

Councillor Dick Walsh, Leader of Argyll and Bute Council and Chair of the Argyll and Bute Community Planning Partnership, said:

“This agreement is about making the development of HMNB Clyde work for Navy personnel, their families and the communities in Argyll they will be joining. It’s about delivering opportunities for new residents and local people to build happy, prosperous lives together. Helensburgh and its surrounding areas offer great benefits as a place to live, work and visit, and we very much look forward to welcoming new Navy friends and neighbours.”

Naval Base Commander, Commodore Mark Gayfer, said:

“The Royal Navy is keen to ensure that the local community better understands what it brings to Argyll and Bute. There are tremendous opportunities for mutual benefit, such as our redevelopment of the Drumfork Club in Helensburgh, building new sports facilities and the UK Government £5m of support for the Council’s waterfront redevelopment.”

In addition to the nuclear submarines, the base is home to 10 conventional surface vessels of the Sandown class mine countermeasure and Archer class patrol vessel fleets.

29 COMMENTS

    • I have to admit, that this decision appears more to have been made on a political basis than a long term security one. Scotland has made it quite clear that not only do they want the Subs out, but out of the union with the English and Wales. if they get their way, all we will see is a complete reversal of the devonport move . Just what is it about our current crop of MPs who really aren’t fit to shovel shit.

      • Not really. Devonport cannot handle the boomers and does not have deep water access to the Atlantic. The Clyde does. Makes economic sense to base all the submarines at one base, therefore Clyde. Only politics stopped the decision being made before.

      • Hi farouk, the topic of Scotland comes up a lot on this forum.

        It is sometimes worth restating that the views of the SNP leadership are not necessarily those of “Scotland”. The SNP run a minority devolved government in Edinburgh; they do not speak for the majority of Scots. Most Scots still support the Union with the rest of the UK.

        Since the Sixties, the basing of the nuclear deterrent on the Clyde has always been controversial within some sections of Scottish opinion; as indeed it would be if the deterrent was based in the south of England! But I don’t believe the majority of Scots view the deterrent any differently than other parts of the UK – ie perhaps a necessary evil. And as the article also highlights, Faslane is a big source of local employment.

      • Alan-you took the words out of my mouth. We should not confuse Scotland with the SNP nor should we assume that there is any unanimity of opinion on anything amongst voters in Scotland-nor for that matter anywhere else.

      • It’s a monitory that wanted independence so I’m not sure why people keep making comments saying “Scotland wants out”.

    • Within 15 years Scotland will no longer be a part of the UK. Month by month the SNP increases its powerbase in Scotland. The national and local elections throughout Scotland show more and more an increase for SNP politics. This development action will cost dearly in the future.

      • Hi Jason, I don’t think anyone knows what Britain will look like in 15 years.
        But today, evidence does not show, “more and more an increase for SNP politics”.
        During the last General Election in June 2017, in a dramatic reversal, the SNP lost 21 MPs (over one third of their seats at Westminster)
        And during the Holyrood elections the previous year, the SNP lost its majority in the Edinburgh parliament.
        I sense rather a bogus narrative developing, but SNP scare-stores should not be used to try and block much needed defence investment in Scotland.

  1. Good point Alan Reid. We are overly influenced by the fifth column which is what Mrs Sturgeon’s government is when it comes to matters of the UK the name of which gags in her mealy little mouth when she drags herself kicking and screaming to remember the Union at all.
    Faslane is the only option for the bombers but making ot the base for the Astutes as well is slightly harder to comprehend
    Faslane though will always be the target of a first strike along with Lossiemouth and a dozen or so English based cities/facilities!!
    Sleep well!!

  2. Barry, Devonport repairs and refuels our submarines. But as stated, it does not offer quick and deep water access in to the Atlantic. It also does not host our nuclear weapon facilities, which are near Faslane.

    • Ben P- I was not on about the boomer’s as they have always been stuck in the middle of nowhere
      What i was on about is the fact that all those subs have gone from Devonport so why not take the redundant subs that are rotting in the biggest city on the south coast of England and tow them up with the rest where they will be safer in the middle of nowhere ( about 10 of them )
      Having been in the RFA for a number if years i had the misfortune of docking up river from Faslane at Glen Mallan and believe me i think its an insult to seaman who have been at sea for a long time being sent to places such as theses

  3. I laugh hearing SNP propaganda on this site.. Scotland is not going anywhere.. Soon the SNP will be gone from power and things will come back to normal.. The economies of Britain and Scotland and Wales are linked economically linked, and cannot be divided no matter how much hate the SNP and there followers wish to spread. The people of Scotland aren’t stupid enough to follow the SNP’s vision that would essentially turn Scotland into a welfare state for the sake of a bunch of rag tag hooligans demented vision.

    • Hi Jassy
      Let me offer you an alternative point of view.
      Scottish nationalism has an honourable tradition, and with the devolution settlement, its politicised version is going to be around for a long time. Everyone is just going to have to get used to the movement – as its fortunes inevitably ebb and flow with events.
      It’s also healthy for our democracy that Westminster now has to take account of the devolved administrations in the rest of the UK. Indeed the Brexit vote indicates that English nationalism is also a big factor today on these islands.
      If it wishes to do so, Scotland is a viable independent country, with a well educated workforce – and a host of natural resources. Dinnae trouble yourself on our account, we would get by just fine, laddie!
      The fact that so many of us wish to stay within the UK is not because of economics, but rather because we have a sentimental fondness for this dear old place, our common culture, our shared history, and the humorous and decent people we share these islands with …….
      Good to debate with you, Jassy Spik!

      • Whilst I agree wholeheartedly with your closing paragraph, Scotland would not be financially secure in the event it seceeded. Under the much quoted Barnett formula it receives thousands per head of funding than anywhere else in the UK. And pre referendum, the plan was to base much of its revenue on North Sea oil, the price of which has now collapsed.

        It might be possible, but all those benefits which make the average Scotsman recives, free prescription, free university tuition, etc, would go out the window as the economy nose dived. And nosedived it would as due to the SNP wanting to join the EU (Because there’s nothing like leaving one union to join another with a people further away) and trade and border barriers would be implemented between Scotland and the people it does the majority of its trading with.

        That said don’t take me as hating on Scotland. I’m half Scottish on my mother’s side and have many fond memories of visits to family in Stirling. The only people I dislike are the SNP with their divisive and hypocritical rhetoric that only serves to divide friends and family and drive wedges between the people of this Island.

        • Hi Lewis
          With respect, you’re repeating a few myths …… Scotland does not receive, “thousands per head of funding than anywhere else in the UK”.
          See the link below from the House of Commons library.
          http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN04033
          In 2016/17, public spending per head in the UK –
          Northern Ireland £11,042 (21% above the UK average)
          Scotland: £10,651 (16% above the UK average)
          To put these figures into context, even London (one of the richest cities in the world), receives – £10,192 per head (11% higher than the UK average).
          Scotland receives a “union dividend” like many other parts of the UK.
          As for free prescription and free university tuition – that’s how devolution works, political priorities are decided at a local level. You can argue that education, policing and other public services in Scotland have taken a corresponding hit.
          I’m not arguing for independence, or Scotland remaining in the EU. If the UK comes out, we should also come out. But Scotland is a viable independent country (albeit with economic challenges) – just like many other small nations in Europe.
          But just to recap, despite many of the fears continually repeated on this forum, the majority of Scots wish to remain within the UK.

          • Alan-I am 100% on the same page as you. I am a Unionist of the heart and have no doubt that any part of the UK could become an Independent entity. I am sure that the hardcore of the SNP including its leadership would put their desire for a seperate Scotland ahead of any economic realities even if the economy numbers were dire! Just on subject-the SNP make much propaganda from the assertion that Scotland would be on the front line in the event of a nuclear war but the reality is that in such a scenario London would be first target and the spillover from the holocaust would affect the whole of this small island

  4. Retention is almost as big a problem for the RN as finance, and one that has a definite impact on the navys budget.
    The moving of all submarines to Faslane already has, and will continue to cause massive retention problems, all for purely political purposes. As for access to deep water channels, the transit from faslane is still several hours, not appreciably different from Plymouth.
    What I find unfathomable, is the political incompetence of successive governments to plan for contingencies. Should the SNP gain more power, all of this money could have been spent in either developing Devonport or looking at alternative sites, I.e. Falmouth or Milford haven and looking at alternative to Coulport.
    If you haven’t served at Faslane, it is hard to understand what a deeply depressing place it is.

    • Retention problems due to year after year cutting of manpower. This has essential destroyed moral in the forces and turned many away from considering a career.

      • That is one issue, but across the services, young sailors and soldiers on the whole want good facilities and a life outside the service when not working.
        Sticking them in a base where most of their colleagues disappear around the UK, on a base that is an hour, and an expensive taxi ride away from a major connabation, doesn’t work. This is a new workforce that demands and expects more work life balance and votes with its feet if it doesn’t get it.
        They live on the internet and struggle without routine access to it. Whilst older generations may scoff at this, it is a big part of their life to give it up when onboard.

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