More than £1.2m has been invested in new buildings at Catterick Training Area to recreate the cluttered and congested environment of a city.

The investment into Whinny Hill, Catterick Training Area’s urban operations training facility, has created a more challenging training environment for the Armed Forces and emergency services personnel who use it. The upgrade has created a more realistic environment for troops carrying out modern day military training in the area.

The new facility consists of 13 buildings which are constructed from purpose-built re-configurable containers. The single and two-storey buildings have a variety of access points and forced entry points. A further multi-storey building provides helicopter and rope access training.

Working with BeaverFit Ltd and industry partner Landmarc Support Services, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) delivered the project in two phases, the first finished in October 2018 and the second completing this month. The facility remained operational throughout the construction period so that the impact on vital military training was minimised.

Lt Col Mark Holden, Commander Defence Training Estate for the North Region, said: “DIO supports our armed forces by providing what they need to live, work and train. We have worked closely with experts and our partners to ensure that we deliver exactly what the military needs to provide enhanced training for their sailors, soldiers and airmen.

“The new urban complex has been designed to meet the needs of military personnel now, and in the future, and we’re pleased that it’s now ready for use.”

Claire Travis, Project Manager from Landmarc, commented: “The buildings have been designed with facades to add realism and internal room layouts that are reconfigurable to enable different challenges for defenders and attackers.

“One of the key challenges was to ensure that the existing urban training facility remained operational whilst the project was delivered. This required close collaboration with DIO and our contractors to de-conflict the training areas during vehicle movements and the final delivery of the containers, which were manufactured off-site to provide a more flexible and cost-effective solution.”

Major General Tim Hyams said: “We’re delighted to take into use the new urban training facility here in Catterick. This state-of-the-art facility will enable the delivery of realistic and challenging training to our soldiers.

“Whinny Hill is the principal sub-unit urban training facility in the North of the UK and the enhancements made here will develop further our ability to prepare for operations in complex urban terrain.”