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MoD reveals £50m Woolwich Barracks plans

Historic Woolwich Barracks has been earmarked for a £50 million facelift and Chelsea Barracks will be closed, defence secretary John Reid announced this week.
The south-east London home of the Royal Artillery for the last 300 years will be preserved and upgrade to include new accommodation, recreational and sports facilities.

The Ministry of Defence dropped a £200 million PFI deal to upgrade Chelsea Barracks in August last year and the future of the accommodation was put under review by the body's investment approval board.

It rejected the plans because they would not be value for money. The final bidder left in the running was a joint venture between Regalian Properties and Bovis Lend Lease.

Chelsea Barracks will be closed in 2008, and 300 army personnel will move to Woolwich, swelling numbers at the site to 1,000.

At that time the MoD will decide whether to keep Chelsea for other army uses, for other Government department uses or sell it off to a private bidder.

Mr Reid said: 'I think that Chelsea is a prime site in the centre of London. Anyone who wants it will have to find the right price to pay for it.'

The 6ha site between Sloane Square and the Thames could be worth as much as £250 million.

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