SCOTLAND will cement its role at the forefront of UK defence, with the Clyde set to house Britain’s entire fleet of submarines from 2020, Sir Michael Fallon has revealed.

In an exclusive interview, the Defence Secretary said the Treasury had this week approved the building of a new £3.6 million submarine school to be built at Scotland’s largest military establishment on the Clyde.

The final design approval is expected soon, which will allow work to begin later this year.

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The new school will provide academic and technical training for all Royal Naval personnel entering the submarine service from 2022.

The Ministry of Defence believes this is an important step for both the Royal Navy and Scotland as it will mean submariners’ careers, whether afloat or ashore, will be principally conducted from Faslane as part of the £1.3 billion investment to make the Clyde Britain’s submarine hub.

It is thought the move will create 1,400 additional jobs.

All eleven of the Royal Navy submarines, will be based at HM Naval Base Clyde from 2020, meaning the number of people employed at the base will rise from 6,800 people to 8,200. The school will support the current Astute hunter killer submarines, as well as the delivery of training for the new Dreadnought nuclear deterrent boats, which provide the UK with a continuous nuclear deterrent from the early 2030s.

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Sir Michael Fallon said: “Scotland is more and more important to defence.

“It employs some 11,000 jobs directly, some 40,000 indirectly. We are expanding the Clyde naval base. The RAF will grow by about 400 at Lossiemouth.

“We are announcing a contract for £3.6m of funding for the new submarine training facility. All the submarines are going to the Clyde, so we are moving the training school from Gosport up to the Clyde. That’s part of the upgrade for Naval Base Clyde, which will have to accommodate not just all the submarines we have at the moment but also the new Dreadnought submarines.”

He continued: “Defence is growing in Scotland. We employ more people; more RAF, more Navy personnel are moving to Scotland. There will be a better defence estate and more and more opportunities for Scottish companies to get a bigger share of our defence spend.”

Perth-born Mr Fallon defended the controversial shake-up in the defence estate in Scotland, which will see a reduction of 20 per cent, including the closure of Army bases at Fort George in the Highlands, Glencorse Barracks near Penicuik, and Redford Cavalry and Infantry Barracks in Edinburgh.

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He said: “The defence estate in Scotland will be fitter for purpose when we have completed these changes because we will have moved soldiers out of very old barracks and closer to centres of population, which will give their families more stability and their partners a better chance of finding employment and brings capabilities together. So there is a logic behind rationalising the estate and reducing the number of expensive buildings we have to maintain,” he explained. Defence was a “huge part” of the Scottish economy, now makes up around 10 per cent of Scotland’s industry.