Cash boost will help secure HMS Sultan says Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage

SAFE FOR NOW The main gate at HMS Sultan in Gosport
SAFE FOR NOW The main gate at HMS Sultan in Gosport
Secretary of State for Defence Gavin Williamson. Pictute: LPhot Ioan Roberts

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A CASH injection is a step in the right direction to securing the future of Gosport’s naval base.

That is the view of Caroline Dinenage, the town’s MP, who has welcomed a £1m boost given to HMS Sultan.

Ms Dinenage has campaigned since she became Gosport’s MP to keep the naval base in the town and said any money spent on it shows it is still valued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

‘In 2010, plans were made to move HMS Sultan to south Wales,’ she said.

‘I campaigned really hard to try and keep it in Gosport when I became MP.

‘Since then the Strategic Defence and Security Review has stopped the plans to move it but I am still working hard to secure its future.

‘I have met with minister of state at the MoD Anna Soubry recently and other MoD people to speak about future plans.

‘I was delighted when I heard about the £1m projects for the base and surrounding areas.’

The money is part of £3m given for Royal Navy projects and was announced by chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne as he visited Portsmouth naval base.

It was taken from the fines levied on banks for manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) financial benchmark.

The £1m will help the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity support Royal Navy personnel and their families in Gosport including refurbishing the Warrant Officers’ Mess in the base.

Ms Dinenage added: ‘The more money we can invest in the site, the more it shows the MoD values it.

‘This investment shows that our efforts are paying off and that the government is as committed as I am to keeping HMS Sultan in our area.

‘Although, we can never guarantee what is going to come out of the government spending review.

‘For me, it would make no sense to ever move it.

‘For its training, it received an ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and I think the base can be used for more.’

The £1m will also be used to renovate Navy Mews to provide flats so families can spend time with their loved ones in Portsmouth if they are deploying.