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More troops to come to Salisbury Plain
MORE than 3,000 extra troops are set to be based in Wiltshire following a shake-up of army bases announced by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond on Tuesday.
The influx of services to Salisbury Plain is part of the gradual withdrawal of troops from Germany and the number of members of the armed forces housed across Tidworth and Bulford barracks is expected to increase to about 15,000 by the end of 2017.
The shake-up will also see a £850million building programme and will mean the biggest expansion of the military on Salisbury Plain since the Second World War.
The move has been welcomed as being good news for the local economy.
Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott said: “This is excellent news for the whole of Wiltshire. We are proud to be a military county and this announcement will build on this status.”
“The military is growing significantly in this county and we will continue to work closely with our military partners to make sure that the right services and infrastructure are in place to support this growth.”
Headquarters 20 Armoured Brigade will come to Bulford when it leaves Germany in 2017.
An additional Challenger 2 equipped regiment is to move to Tidworth so that the troops have access to the training facilities on the Plain and Larkhill Garrison will also expand.
The 4 Rifles will move to Aldershot, while their sister battalion, 5 Rifles will move from Germany to Bulford in 2016.
To accommodate these increases, the building budget of £850million has been allocated to build and improve accommodation, hangars and workshop facilities.
About 1,200 new married quarters will be built around the garrison over the next five years, with land has already been earmarked for this expansion.
Cllr Scott said the council is working closely with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and the army to ensure the infrastructure is in place to cope with the influx.