§ Sir Teddy Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the reductions in total spending at DERA in Shoeburyness in consequence of the transfer of work to Eskmeals; and what will be the additional costs involved in carrying out this work at Eskmeals. 
§ Mr. Spellar
[holding answer 26 March 1998]: There is currently significant overcapacity on the DERA test and evaluation land ranges. The proposals made by DERA to match the capacity of the ranges to the needs of the Ministry of Defence involve concentrating work at the Eskmeals range, thereby using capacity at that site, with the range at Shoeburyness and Pendine operating only as required. The environmental test centre and the demilitarisation facilities at Shoeburyness would remain fully operational. The cost of operating the Eskmeals and Shoeburyness sites in this way is assessed as about £15.8 million per year; were the Eskmeals site to be closed and all of the work concentrated at Shoeburyness, the annual cost would be £16.8 million. Currently, the two sites cost some £23.9 million to operate each year.