Posted: Wed 16th Nov 2022

Merger of Defence Electronics and Components Agency will secure long-term future of Deeside site

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Nov 16th, 2022


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Sealand-based Defence Electronics and Components Agency (DECA) is set to merge into Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), the procurement arm of the Ministry of Defence.

The move will help sustain and grow highly skilled jobs in Deeside, Minister for Defence Procurement, Alex Chalk has said.

DECA is currently a MOD Executive Agency, delivering electronics and components, general engineering support capabilities, and maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade services across a range of defence systems and capabilities.

The merger decision was sparked by a UK Government Investments (UKGI) review which identified that DECA was a valuable strategic asset and that its capability should be grown to the benefit of defence and the UK taxpayer.

The merger is seen as advantageous for both organisations and the ownership model that will best drive DECA growth.

DECA employs around 440 people and operates primarily from MOD Sealand with a second operating base at MOD Stafford. Initially, the merger will not result in any significant changes to business operations and will help secure the long-term future of the Sealand site.

Andy Start, CEO of DE&S, said:

“DECA provides a unique capability which helps to sustain defence systems that are critical in keeping our nation safe.

“Merging DECA into DE&S enhances our ability to support to even more Air, Land and Naval Defence systems in future.

Geraint Spearing, Chief Executive of DECA said:

“The decision to merge DECA into DE&S with the intent to grow, recognises the important contribution DECA makes to Defence, our wide-ranging capabilities and the critical support we provide to the UK Armed Forces.”

There are plans to establish a multi-million-pound Advanced Technology Research Centre at DECA Sealand.

The Welsh Government initially declared its intention in 2018 to work with the Deeside Enterprise Zone Board and the Ministry of Defence led by the DECA, to develop a proposal for a new research centre.

Ministry of Defence land adjacent the DECA Sealand has been earmarked for the research centre and an application for a ‘screening opinion’ is sat with Flintshire planners ahead of formal plans being submitted.

The Welsh Government signed heads of terms for the site in the summer and work is underway on the design the new facility.

A Screening Opinion Request has been submitted for the development of the former sports field next to DECA

Speaking in the Welsh Parliament this afternoon, Alyn and Deeside MS Jack Sargeant asked Minister for the Economy Vaughan Gething: “You will have seen the recent statement from the Minister for Defence Procurement about the Defence Electronics and Components Agency site in Sealand, and, of course, your plans for the advanced technology research centre, and it’s something I’ve spoken about on a number of times in this Chamber.”

“Can I ask you for some particulars of how the Welsh Government can support the development of an advanced technology research sector, with the support of the UK Government?”

In response, Mr Gething said: “I think this is a good example of an area where, actually, the Welsh and the UK Government are able to do things constructively together.”

“We’re taking a lead on a range of the development areas, with the site itself, with some of the investment we even made in getting that ready.”

The Minister said: “We need to work on what the future development partnership will look like. But we do know there will be opportunities here, because Minister Chalk’s recent statement reconfirmed plans to go ahead with this development, and there’s a point about skills in the wider region, significant employers and their interest in the product that will be taken, but also we’ve already appointed to take those matters forward in stages technical consultants, who are progressing with the masterplanning of the preferred site.”

He added: “We’ve concluded another round of detailed industry engagement, which, again, gives us more insight to help inform the design of the building and actually the jobs that will take place in and around it, and not just the centre of course, but the impact it will have on the wider economy.”

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