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Interserve sails to victory on Armada

CONTRACTS PLYMOUTH

INTERSERVE has clinched its second major Ministry of Defence job of the year, after being named as preferred bidder on a £47 million Private Finance Initiative deal to upgrade naval accommodation in Plymouth.

The Ministry of Defence chose Interserve - lead partner in the Falcon consortium with contract caterer Compass - ahead of a final challenge from Amey for the HMS Drake scheme at Devonport naval base, known as Project Armada.

The decision comes just weeks after the firm landed a £30 million PFI scheme to build a sixth-form defence college for the MoD at Loughborough in Leicestershire.

Ballast was also in the early hunt for Project Armada but the MoD sunk the firm's bid last November.

Armed forces minister Adam Ingram approved the decision at Westminster last week as part of the Government's commitment to improve single living accommodation for service personnel under its strategic defence review. It is expected that upgrading living conditions will improve the recruitment of ordinary seamen and sailors.

Under the Armada scheme, the consortium will build en-suite accommodation for 55 senior officers, 195 junior officers, 600 warrant officers and senior ratings and 700 junior ratings. The centre will include 100 beds for transient personnel.

The 25-year concession also includes property and infrastructure maintenance, catering, cleaning and responsibility for environmental aspects and ground maintenance.

The contract will be awarded in July after finalising negotiations with Falcon. The accommodation is due for completion by 2007.