Defence spending with UK industry by the Ministry of Defence in Scotland is currently £2.09 billion, official statistics have revealed.

An average of £380 is being spent on defence for each person living in Scotland, higher that the UK average of £370, with this figure staying consistent in recent years.

Latest figures also show 12,200 Scottish jobs are directly supported through the MOD’s expenditure with the Scottish defence industry.

Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps said:

“As threats increase across the globe, it’s crucial that investment in our Armed Forces matches that picture. That’s why we’re spending more than £50 billion annually on helping equip our military with cutting-edge capabilities, so they can continue to protect our freedoms around the clock.

These statistics demonstrate how all parts of the UK are playing their part in that crucial work, delivering through our fantastic defence industry and boosting local prosperity.”

Scotland is home to the Royal Navy’s Type 26 and Type 31 frigate building programme, spanning shipyards on the Clyde and Rosyth, supporting thousands of skilled jobs into the next decade. Some of the MOD’s highest level strategic assets, such as the Continuous At Sea Deterrent at HMNB Clyde and the P-8 Poseidon and Quick Reaction Alert Typhoon aircraft at RAF Lossiemouth are also base in Scotland, investing in multi-million-pound support contracts which have created thousands of jobs.

Further information

  • The stats published on Thursday 8 February regarding spend with UK industry can be found here.
  • The latest figures on jobs supported through UK industry can be found here.
Tom has spent the last 13 years working in the defence industry, specifically military and commercial shipbuilding. His work has taken him around Europe and the Far East, he is currently based in Scotland.
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Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago

Move some of the spending elsewhere …..

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Why?

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

Why ?…. maybe the rest of the UK has been shafted ? maybe England Wales and Northern Ireland could also do with the work ? maybe the workshare is unfair ? maybe the SNP should appreciate the value of this work….. Just why the rest of the UK’s traditional Ship building yards had to shut so that Scottish yards could build every ship might just be a factor in Mark B’s comment ? What do you think ….. ?

Jim
Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Your right frank that £10 a head per annum higher spending in Scotland could completely transform the rest of the UK, it could really level up the North, you should think about running for government at the next election, I think the Tory’s will be looking for a new leader 😂

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

I think you might want to think about the % a little bit more though….. Population wise !

Arson Fire
Arson Fire
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

This! Haha

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

To be fair, Dianne Abbot wouldn’t understand the numbers either.

George
George
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

Unless Jeremy “Trots” Corbyn can give her remedial night time lessons with benefits.

Jim
Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Seriously Andy, did you say invest in Sunderland ship building then say yards on the Tyne.

Call yourself an Englishman 🤣

Get a map out.

I know many a Mackem currently spitting out their tea after reading that comment.

George
George
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Steady on Jim. Never mind the sensibilities of the unwashed mackems. Using “that place name” in the same sentence as the Holy river Tyne is blasphemy! For your penance drink ten bottles of Broon Dog.

British by birth, Geordie by the grace of God.
Beware the wrath of the Fighting Fifth and Geordie Nation.

George
George
1 month ago
Reply to  George

That would be Newcastle Brown Ale. You do know it was originally concocted to rub on strained muscles. Particularly those of tired pit ponies and prize winning whippets. Never under any circumstances to be taken by mouth.

Coll
Coll
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

I read a while ago that the shipyard shed on Wear is looking to be turned into a film studio.

George
George
1 month ago
Reply to  Coll

For kids cartoons.

Ralph Hardie
Ralph Hardie
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Onshoring is our future or have you not been keeping up. We must get better, educate our children is the root of UK survival, any country’s future.
How about redesign the classroom for the individual rather than the mass madness and mayhem that exists now for most. Use the phones all the kids have and help them learn what they are good at.
Have you any other ideas?

George
George
1 month ago
Reply to  Ralph Hardie

I would have a military presence in every school, in the form of a cadet unit. Adding a mandatory Uniformed Service Qualification to the curriculum. Going so far as having an air rifle range and competitive target shooting as a school sport. Bring the so-called recruiting problem to an end.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  George

My son goes to school in the Czech Republic where he just took home an ‘A’ for maths.

Meanwhile, he is a young pioneer fireman, who just took home a bullseye for marksmanship from firefighter school.

Yes, I know, but if can get marksmanship training, I don’t mind.

However, during communism his elders learnt how to fire AKs and throw hand grenades at schools, like you do…

George
George
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

I’m not sure what you are getting at David. It sounds like your son is doing well and is learning a diverse set of life skills. I would not permit school kids to throw live grenades or use automatic full bore weapons, that’s asking for trouble. Plus it is not necessary to learn the principles of marksmanship. I taught my kids how to shoot at an early age with air rifles. I don’t see anything wrong with dummy training grenades and 22LR converted single shot service rifles. As a reward for 15+ year olds showing interest in a military career.… Read more »

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

So instead of a very narrow comment was there not a further explanation of the context behind it? Maybe that there weren’t any other places to spend it? Why bring SNP into it, with a statement that is wrong and unsupported by actual statements from the horse’s mouth? Ascribing your opinion as fact by asking an out of context and imagined concept is not helpful. Why did the rest of the UK yards have to ‘shut up shop’? When they actually haven’t? Rosyth was used because it had a sufficiently large dry dock unlike anywhere else in UK. Don’t forget… Read more »

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

My Narrow comment is more than enough to counter your long winded and desperate response…. to be honest mate.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

A narrow comment ignores all other relevant factors and issues! A comment with a detailed explanation and rationale is an attempt at considering all factors which then leads to a considered response and conclusion. Sound bites (invariably narrow and out of context) do not provide for meaningful debate and shows an inability to understand things more holistically. Which means the likelihood of a complete misunderstanding and wrong decision is much more likely. And then means that the debate is nothing more than a pointless slanging match.

Last edited 1 month ago by Nick Cole
Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

👍

George
George
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Very well said. All perfectly valid points that should be blatantly obvious.
Do not forget that centralisation of industry only makes sense during peacetime. It is a liability during a war. One nuke on the Clyde and GB has lost both specialist yards and the highly skilled workforce. That latter being the hardest to replace. Placing all of ones precious eggs in one basket is asking for trouble!!

Despite the sacrifice of English shipbuilding in their favour. The SNP want to break up the UK of GB and re-join the EU quango. How absurd is that!

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  George

Well, quite frankly, the Head Shed of the UK want to break up the UK of GB and NI; interesting articles appearing about NI identity and how Union with Eire is not a big problem if it means staying in the EU.

Scotland will be next, followed by Wales. You receive what you voted for.

Now, about shipbuilding and missile production in NI.

George
George
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

If memory serves, they voted for it too. BTW I can’t see the loyal unionists accepting any moves away from the union. A return to the troubles is best avoided, for all our sakes. People who wish to live in the EU are free to leave.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago
Reply to  George

Why is that absurd, other than it means it is against your wishes? In terms of comparisons the relationship between EU and UK has close parallels with the home nations and Westminster. The difference being that aside from common and shared trade standards which benefits industry, Westminster dictates to Scotland what it can and cannot do, and within the EU there is huge scope for national differences and derogations on cultural grounds. The UK’s problem with the EU was because our civil service always implemented rules in accordance with the wording precisely, and our poltiicians kept making (mostly unfounded) political… Read more »

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Shafted? What of £10 per person. There are other areas of the U.K. that get much more spent and some that get a lot less. It’s BAE and Babcock’a choice of where to located their shipbuilding facilities. Lossiemouth is where the RAF choose to base the P8 and northern QRA again due to location. Same with Faslane, Coulport etc. it’s the best location for submarine operations. Location is why the fleet ready ship is based near the busiest shipping routes on the south coast. As much as some think it’s all a big conspiracy it’s just what works at this… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Common Sense is you stick your bases where they can deal with the threat.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Can you actually back any of this up with facts ? Or are you just spouting off for the sake of making a noise ? You said “Let the Nation Down Badly” ! How by building most of the Frigates and Destroyers the RN has received this century ? As for cancelling the orders and building them abroad. How would you justify it ? They built 12 of the 16 T23 within budget and on time (unlike the 4 at SH), most of them have lasted nearly twice their design life. Same with the T45 (all 6 built on time… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

Frank has some decent points. Personally I feel we need more ships, more competition, quicker more modern build techniques & a workforce who values the work when they have it.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Aside from the partisan and largely incorrect points your last sentence is the most relevance that we can all agree on. The QE/PoW were built with modern techniques as are the other ones in build. I cannot speak for the workforce but I think you’ll find they do value the work, and are upset when they don’t have work!

Jim
Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Your a credit to your nation, not sure where you went to school but guessing it’s not the north east 😀

John
John
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

Jim, are you anti-England and anti-English? It seems that way!

Meirion X
Meirion X
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

I am much more concerned now, of people who worship another profit! With the views of a former prospective Labour candidate!

Last edited 1 month ago by Meirion X
Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago

So 4% of UK defence expenditure then, for a population that is around 9% of the UK.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

Yes but what this is showing is capital spending on industrial capacity..remember a large amount of the budget is on ongoing costs such as staff, pensions, management etc etc.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

Or 100% of UK surface fleet spending….. for a population of @ 8% of the UK ?

Jim
Jim
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

It’s £10 per head above the UK average,

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim

You are just not getting it, I’m talking about the Building of all the Ships being 100% in Scotland. I’m not talking about % per head. It appears that certain people on here favour this whereas I would prefer a a more balanced share for the whole Country not just Scotland….But if you are happy with that then fine.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

I think you are a reasonable person I’ll just point out why the U.K. MOD stopped building Warships in England. I can sum it up in 5 words. Swan Hunter screwed it up ! MOD issues competitive tenders for ship building and did so for the Bay Class, which at that point was for 2 ships, plus options for 3 more, the contract cap for the first 2 ships was £150 million. The Scottish yards were gearing up for the T45 build after they had completed the last T23 Frigates (they had built 12 and SH only 4 due to… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

Does the 9% (or 8%) actually want any defence spending in Scotland. Perhaps we should start moving the work to areas of the UK who would appreciate the work?

Marked
Marked
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

I’ve said this for years. I know lots of north Eastern England people who’d be very grateful for the work.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

Other parts of England (Wales and NI too) get different sets of work. Ships tend to be capitally expensive (because of the materiel and complexity). Are the yards in NE England able to handle the work?

Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

Swan Hunters certainly could have before they were closed down through lack of work. I doubt A&P could build an entire warship, but no warship had ever been built from scratch in Rosyth and it didn’t stop Babcock setting up shop. So maybe they could. Or maybe we need new shipyard created from scratch.

Off topic, I recall reading the old Swan Hunter Wallsend site was sold to a local offshore marine company a couple of years ago, so let’s hope that’s a success.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

SH didn’t shut down due to lack of work ! They shutdown because MOD stripped them of the Bay class contract. Read up on it, it’s shocking. But they really mucked up.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago
Reply to  Jon

It is the lack of work that leads to yard shut downs, and that would have also happened at Rosyth but for the QEs. If UK (at last) decided to have more ships, then there is no reason why other yards couldn’t do that. Our biggest difficulty is that instead of mothballing facilities and skills our politivcal masters over the last 15 years or so have been intent on scrapping capability and equipment, in order to facilitate tax cuts, which is what they mislabelled as austerity.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

Nick it may seem odd but Rosyth was never a SB yard till recently. The QE class were assembled at Rosyth from blocks built elsewhere in U.K.
Until the T31 no one one had ever even tried to build a ship at Rosyth, it was a Naval base and nothing else.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

I stand corrected, thanks. But Rosyth also built blocks for the QEs too. It has of course turned from a naval base into a shipyard.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

Yes they built 2 upper blocks, masts and some part of the Sponsons and flight deck, but the Mega blocks were built and pre fitted at Govan, Scotstoun and other bits at A&P, Appledore and Portsmouth.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago
Reply to  ABCRodney

They certainly did!

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Nick Cole

No, nor all the others because they have all been run down in favour of Scottish yards…. Would you be happy if England built all the ships rather than Scotland ?

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Who is running them down? There was a shortage of defence work load for the amount of shipyards in the U.K. Due to that the yards that could offer the best product won what work there was. Others tried to get work from other sources. Some closed. It’s not the MODs job to keep 10 shipyards open when it only needs 4. The costs involved with keeping 1000s of staff and sites open while they have nothing to do and no future work is not possible. If the U.K. decides it needs to increase production and current production facilities can’t… Read more »

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

What nailed it was the Bay class fiasco and BAe making SH look like idiots (which they were). You really have to go some to get stripped of an ongoing contract, when PM was Tony Blair and MP for Sedgefield (25 miles away).

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Why do you ascribe things to me that I have not said and are off topic anyway? The Scottish yards were the only ones kept running (after a fashion) by Westminster governments. Nothing to do with ‘in favour of’, they just were. Many Scottish yards were shut down anyway! Scotland may have the shipyards, but England have the Ordnance Factories and other defence manufacturing/assembly lines instead.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

Read up on the Bay class build at Swan Hunter !

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Who said they don’t appreciate the work? Who said they don’t want defence spending in Scotland? You are letting your imagination run wild.

monkey spanker
monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

I’m Scottish and appreciate the work.

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  monkey spanker

Glad to hear it. Do you feel the majority of workers & residents in Scotland share your appreciation? The impression many people get is that Scots say they wouldn’t be troubled by the loss of the defence industry completely let alone in part.

Ralph Hardie
Ralph Hardie
1 month ago

Build an artillery shells factory in Scotland. Bullets and drones build them in the Highlands.

Nick Cole
Nick Cole
1 month ago
Reply to  Ralph Hardie

I think you’ll find the ordnance factories have had significantly more work (in value and proportion) in recent years, and likely to continue for a long time yet.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

ouch, What ?

Coll
Coll
1 month ago

£2bn, and some still think no frigates are being built there?

Jon
Jon
1 month ago

So Scotland gets a bit more than average for the UK, as does England. The big disparities are within the English regions (again). The South, both East and West, gets far more investment per head and the three regions who never get their share are North East, Northern Ireland, and bottom place Yorkshire and Humber, who have held that position for eight years out of the last nine.

I know UKDJ is based in Scotland, but Scotland does averagely isn’t a story! How about: Government’s levelling up agenda consistently fails.

John
John
1 month ago

Considering the UK has seen the largest real-terms fall in defence spending in most of the developed world (at 25.4% according to “Chapter One: Defence and military analysis: Era of Uncertainty” in T&F Online). Spending *above* the UK average can only seem a good thing.

ABCRodney
ABCRodney
1 month ago

So it’s £10 per heads difference, well forgive me but isn’t Scotland population shrinking and England’s growing ? What are they supposed to do each year send the infrastructure down 3 blocks at a time ?