The ‘Village’, as it is known, is part of the new Defence College of Logistics, Policing and Administration, a £300m tri-service facility at Worthy Down. The MoD says it forms part of its strategy to rationalise its estate and improve training provision and living quarters for service personnel.
It has been rolled out by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), the MoD’s estate management group, working with its facilities services partner Sodexo.
The project has been designed to ‘build community, create connections and foster morale’ among the Royal Navy, Army, and Royal Air Force personnel who live at Worthy Down’.
The new facility was officially opened by Group Captain Nicholas Brittain, who said: “This wonderful facility is a result of a true partnership between Sodexo and the Worthy Down Station.
“By working together, we can provide tremendous improvements to the quality of life for our military and civil service personnel. Sodexo personnel, at all levels, are key enablers of our defence output.”
The tri-services amenity aims to have ‘a strong focus on the wellbeing of military and civil service personnel’ and will feature three key zones; a social and meeting lounge, a micro theatre and a gaming area.
Each zone has been designed to ‘bring people together, encourage engagement, collaboration and boost camaraderie among defence personnel’.
The Village combines a restaurant, café, bar and leisure services to provide a relaxed social environment as well as a place to unwind after the working day, meet the varied needs of defence personnel, their families and visitors.
Paul Anstey, chief executive of Sodexo UK & Ireland’s government and agencies arm, said: “We designed ‘Village’ based on insight from the DIO and research that we commissioned with IPSOS Mori and Kings College London to provide us with in-depth insight into understanding the most pressing needs of today’s forces personnel, the wider defence community and the MoD.
“The integrated approach considers all aspects of military life and focuses on reducing isolation, low morale and boredom to improve recruitment, retention, wellbeing and the creation of a focused, agile workforce.
“It also brings a more positive quality of life for those living and working at the base.
“The military is a small, close knit community, so it was essential that the design of ‘Village’ reflected this concept.”
Andy Honnor, DIO’s Regional Head for the South East added: “Group Captain Brittain had a vision which DIO supported and Sodexo built upon using recent experience in other areas; ‘Village’ is the manifestation of this vision.
“Fantastic collaboration between DIO and Sodexo meant that this project was delivered on time and within budget. It wasn’t easy and it is a testament to what can be achieved when there is a thirst to find solutions at every stage.
“The results are breathtaking; there is nothing else this ‘futuristic’ on the MoD estate.”
Having only been open a matter of days, he said Village was already proving to be a popular meeting spot with personnel on base commenting that the hub was ‘a modern and bright area to relax and socialise after a long day’, a ‘very good multi-use facility’ and they would ‘highly recommend this place to new recruits’.