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£12 billion military campus approved for south Wales

Scott Brownrigg, Capita and HLM report for duty as plans for a vast military academy are approved

Building work is expected to start at the former air base in St Athan late next year after councillors in the Vale of Glamorgan consented to the £12 billion campus.

The proposed Defence Technical College (DTC) is being designed by Scott Brownrigg, Capita and HLM under the Metrix consortium banner. It will be the country’s largest vocational training operation and will provide specialist non-combat training for all three services on a 1,000-acre site, with up to 3,000 students present at a time. The plans also include a multi-faith zone including a Gurkha Temple.

Supporters have hailed it as the biggest single public investment in Wales and an opportunity to bring thousands of jobs to the area.

Due to open its doors in 2014, the campus will house a giant joint training centre for the Army, Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force as well as ‘significant new leisure and recreational facilities’, which will be made ‘available to the public on an agreed basis.’

The Metrix consortium, led by the former Government-owned defence research agency Qinetiq, was named preferred bidder for the contract by the Ministry of Defence in 2007.

The group said the college would benefit the local community, for example by opening its sport and leisure complex to the public.

Metrix chairman Charles Barrington said: ‘It is truly a win-win situation for all the stakeholders involved in this nationally important project.’

Metrix said the college would create a development the size of a small town, with ‘all the facilities that would be expected of a small town’.

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