District council chiefs have been given a tour of two Catterick Army barracks to see improvement work.
Richmondshire District Council (RDC) leader Cllr Yvonne Peacock, and deputy leader Cllr Ian Threlfall were given a tour of Bourlon and Marne Barracks where more than £70m has been invested recently to improve working and single living accommodation for the soldiers based there.
At Bourlon Barracks, a Grade 2 listed Sandhurst Block that had stood empty for eight years has been transformed to provide modern office accommodation and other improvements have seen the provision of new storage facilities and working accommodation.
This story continues after the adverts:
At Marne Barracks the two guests were shown new single living accommodation where over 100 new bed spaces have been provided, a new gymnasium and Multi Use Games Area (MUGA), a new mess for Senior Non- Commissioned Officers and new office buildings and working accommodation.
Speaking after the visit, Robin Hartley, head of the Ministry of Defence’s Army basing programme in the north, said: “We’re delighted with the facilities that we have provided at Bourlon and Marne Barracks, which will ensure that the required infrastructure is available to our troops.
“Spending over £70M at these two sites represents a positive investment that MOD is making in Catterick Garrison and is a sustainable legacy of the ABP.
“We’re working closely with North Yorkshire County Council, Richmondshire District Council, the local enterprise partnership, other government departments, local service providers and NHS England to ensure infrastructure, housing, education and health provision is in place for our troops and their families.”
Cllr Peacock, said: “Catterick Garrison is an important part of the Richmondshire community with a large and often changing population which we must make provision for together with the needs of the civilian community – be that through leisure, education, housing or health.
“My deputy and I found the visit to the camp to be very informative and we were very impressed with the quality of the refurbishment of the listed block at Bourlon Barracks. The visit has given us an insight into what facilities are already there and what infrastructure will need to be delivered through the planning process as the camp expands.”
The MoD says it is working collaboratively with North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC), RDC and other key stakeholders involved in the provision of services to the local communities, both military and civilian, in and around Catterick.
This involves the development of a master plan and supporting local plans and includes the identification of key sites for new housing developments where the MoD and RDC are working together to select sites that best fit the RDC Plan.
The MoD says it is also working on phase 2 of the town centre development and several sites have been identified as potentially suitable for retail outlets as part of RDC’s ‘Call for Sites’ initiative.