16 December 2019
Defence Fire and Rescue Project

Today, Capita hosted a turf-cutting ceremony at its Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh to mark the start of construction of new training facilities for MOD firefighters and personnel.

The £5m investment will play a key part in Capita’s 12-year Defence Fire and Rescue Project to manage and modernise the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) fire and rescue capability. The facilities, being built by construction firm Beard, will enable the College to provide state of the art firefighter training such as Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) on several different simulated airframes, along with a wide range of other firefighting scenarios.  Other new facilities include an accommodation block for trainees and an additional fire station.  It is expected construction will conclude in Autumn 2020, when the first cohort of MOD firefighters begin training at the College.

Capita’s contract with the MOD commenced in August 2019 and over the next 12 years Capita will invest in new technology, fire appliances and equipment to develop a modernised fire and rescue service that will also harness digital technology to reduce risk to the MOD’s firefighters, personnel and assets.

The Fire Service College, a Capita owned and operated facility, is one of the premier global fire and rescue training facilities. It provides learners with the opportunity to train and exercise in a realistic and challenging environment with direction and supervision from expert instructors.  From 2021, approximately 1,700 military and civilian firefighters will be trained each year at the College or by instructors from the College at military bases around the UK.

The turf-cutting ceremony was attended by dignitaries including Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown, MP for the Cotswolds; Mike Cooper, MOD Director for Children and Young People; Group Captain Lee Taylor 11 Group Senior Air Staff Officer; Jason Clay, Managing Director for Capita Fire and Rescue and Marc Bayley, Regional Director at Beard.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP said: “ I have been heavily involved in helping Capita procure this important contract. From liaising with Kent MP, Sir Roger Gale, to make sure that both authorities were happy with the move, to the procurement of the actual contract, and through pressuring Ministers and debates in the House of Commons persuade rivals not to pursue with a judicial review.

“This is fantastic news for the Fire College as it will see significant improvements, provide many much-needed jobs locally, and will see local builder Beards building a new accommodation block. I look forward to observing the progress of the contract and was honoured to be a part of the turf-cutting this morning.”

Jason Clay, Managing Director for Capita Fire and Rescue, said: “Today marks an exciting new chapter for the Fire Service College and the Ministry of Defence’s fire and rescue capability. Our £5m investment in state-of-the-art training and accommodation facilities at Moreton-in-Marsh is a key part of our 12 year contract to manage and modernise the Department’s fire service.

“Over the course of our multi-year transformation programme we will work with the Ministry of Defence to deliver an exciting range of technology-enabled modernisation initiatives that improve service capability and reduce risk to firefighters, Defence personnel and the critical assets they operate”.

Marc Bayley, Regional Director at Beard, said “It is important that the college has the capacity and amenities to keep pace with demand.  This is an important first stage in providing more accommodation and better training facilities.  We are looking forward to marking other milestones along the way.”