Multi-million revamp of Churchill estate completed

An £11m upgrade of service accommodation for naval personnel in Helensburgh has been completed.

Captain Alistair Willis, commanding officer of HMS Neptune, unveiled a plaque last week to mark the completion of work at the Churchill estate.

New look: Kay Guy chats to Captain Alistair Willis [Picture: Crown copyright]
New look: Kay Guy chats to Captain Alistair Willis [Picture: Crown copyright]
Since April 2011, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has spent £18m upgrading nearly 400 service family accommodation properties in the area.

Most of the money was spent on the Upper Churchill refurbishment programme, which saw improvements made to 225 properties, with work completed a year ahead of schedule and within budget.

Andrew Blessing, DIO’s regional manager for Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “For DIO this was probably the biggest concentration of investment on the upgrade of service family accommodation in the UK.

“The project has transformed the appearance of the estate and undoubtedly improved the quality of life for service families.”

All of the 225 homes received new roofs and entrance canopies, reconfigured gardens, including patios, privacy fencing and sheds, and a new, brighter paint scheme for the exteriors.

The area now also has a multi-use games area, two new play parks, resurfaced roads and improved footpaths and lighting.

One person who welcomed the upgrade was Kay Guy, whose husband Graham is a Royal Marines warrant officer working with 43 Commando Fleet Protection Group.

Kay, Graham and their four children currently live in service accommodation at Churchill.

“We moved into the accommodation before the refurbishment began,” she said.

“The difference the work has made has been astounding. Over the past few years we’ve got to know the contractors quite well and in some ways it will be sad to see them leave now work is completed.”