Up to 120 jobs could be lost at Whittington Barracks says Armed Forces
Minister, Adam Ingram, in a letter to Michael Fabricant.
"Although a few jobs will be kept among security staff, most will be
lost as conversions are made in readiness for conversion of the barracks
for use by the Defence Medical Services" says Michael Fabricant. "I
hope that they will be able to find alternative work in the area and I
will be talking to ministers at the Ministry of Defence about this to
see what practical help they can give. Nevertheless, the change of use
of the site for Defence Medical Services training and administration
should secure the barracks’ future for the next 20 years or so – and I
"Meanwhile, on a related matter, I am in on-going discussions with Des
Browne, Secretary of State for Defence, regarding the continuing future
of the Regimental Museum at the site. They urgently need a long term
lease to enable them to apply for lottery and other funding to keep the
The full text of Adam Ingram’s letter follows below:
I thought that it would be helpful to let you have a note about the
current position on the future of the Whittington Barracks, Lichfield,
site and the civilian staff who work there.
You may recall that I wrote to you in January and in June last year
about proposals that would lead, among other things, to the transfer to
Pirbright of Army training currently undertaken at Whittington. Part of
the proposal was that the Lichfield site would be transferred to another
Defence user. We hoped in this way not only to bring additional
employment to the area but also continuity of employment for those
currently working at Whittington.
Tom Watson subsequently advised you last August that we were planning to
move a range of Defence Medical Services training and administrative
activities to the site, but that the move was unlikely to be completed
before the turn ‘of the decade, subject to a final investment decision
around the end of this year. I am writing now to let you know that, in
support of that pending decision, Defence Estates will shortly be
embarking on public consultation on redevelopment proposals for the
Whittington site, to meet the Defence Medical Services requirements.
While the matter at issue in the consultations is of course subject to
future planning approval, we may naturally also expect questions from
staff and Trades Unions about the implications for them of the proposed
programme of work and future timetable.
As you may recall, we had earlier hoped that most, if not all, civilians
currently employed at Whittington might be offered posts in the new
organisation and that a number of Defence units currently relying on the
Army for administrative assistance would all continue to be supported on
the site. Unfortunately, we can have little certainty as yet about the
position of many of the 120 or so civilian staff currently employed at
Whittington during the likely period of two years or so, while
construction work is undertaken on the site. I realize that this
uncertainty will be disappointing for the individuals concerned. A
number of the existing jobs on the site providing services such as
security will certainly remain throughout the construction period, but
most of the current staff will probably have to look to alternative job
opportunities in the area. We shall of course do all that we can to
assist then. There may be opportunities for some staff to return to work
on the site for the Defence Medical Services in due course. As you would
expect, we shall be discussing further with staff, as planning develops,
and consulting their trade union representatives.
We shall of course keep you in touch with significant developments.
The Rt Hon Adam Ingram MP
Minister of State for the Armed Forces
Ministry of Defence