in Defence

MoD storage facility in Cumbria secures hundreds of UK jobs

Posted 14 November 2023

A new 75,000-metre-squared Ministry of Defence (MoD) storage facility is being built in Longtown, Cumbria.

Image courtesy DE&S

Enhancing the MoD’s storage capacity, the £86-million contract with Glasgow-based construction and civil engineering company – McLaughlin & Harvey – will support approximately 150 highly-skilled jobs in Scotland and a further 300 in the North of England. The build will not only strengthen industrial activity across the UK but also grow the economy across both sides of the border.

Due to complete in early October 2024, the new facility will be a key asset in supporting the armed forces on operations. The facility will provide safe and secure storage for equipment used by all three services such as engines and other large spare parts in the defence inventory.

John Farrow, DE&S Director Logistics and Support Operating Centre, said: “The new warehouse will provide the UK with additional modern storage facilities, building on the success of similar facilities in Donnington, that will ensure assets are available more rapidly to meet surges in demand.

"This contract represents a fantastic example of the progress we have made in developing and implementing fit-for-purpose facilities that is helping to accelerate our mission of equipping and supporting our UK armed forces today and tomorrow.”

Known as the MoD Distribution Centre (North), the Longtown facility will be the size of 12 football pitches and be built on a brownfield site within the Longtown estate. The build will provide greater resilience for UK Defence by enhancing MoD’s existing strategic warehouse sites in both Shropshire and Oxfordshire and will also allow older warehousing to be retired.

Minister for Defence Procurement, James Cartlidge, said: “I am delighted that work is being done at DM Longtown by McLaughlin and Harvey. Longtown is a hugely important, strategic facility and contributes much to the operational capability of Defence. This work also highlights the number of people at the facility who work cross-border and that Defence is a pan-UK business, involving contractors from right across the UK, to keep its people and allies safe.”

Much of the Departments’ warehouses were built around the Second World War, therefore the modernisation of warehouse facilities will provide the best protection for the assets it holds. The new facility will provide growth capacity for new capabilities coming into service over the next ten years and beyond.

Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, said: “I welcome this multi-million-pound UK Government defence investment and the hundreds of jobs it will support in Scotland and Cumbria. This giant facility will help ensure kit used by our armed forces is stored in the best possible condition and can be deployed speedily.

"The Ministry of Defence invests more than £2 billion annually with industry and commerce in Scotland and this project is another great example of how such expenditure is growing the economy and creating better-paid jobs and opportunity right across the country.”

When the facility reaches completion in late 2024, the assets stored to support the armed forces and their platforms will be better protected and more easily available in times of need, optimising support delivery.

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