Entrance to Venning Barracks
|Occupants||11th Signal Brigade and Headquarters West Midlands|
The site was chosen in 1936 as one of a number of less vulnerable locations for storing ordnance and other military equipment previously kept at London’s Woolwich Arsenal. This was designed to provide employment in what was then a depressed area, following the closure of the Lilleshall Company’s New Yard engineering works in St George's several years earlier. By 1980 COD Donnington (along with COD Bicester) was one of just two remaining Central Ordnance Depots overseen by the Royal Army Ordnance Corps; nevertheless, in the 1970s and 80s, it grew to be one of the largest military store complexes in Europe. It remains in use as a storage depot, although the complex was scaled back following two serious fires (in 1983 and 1988).
At the turn of the millennium further investment took place as Parsons Barracks (named after Major-General Sir Harold Parsons) and Venning Barracks (named after General Sir Walter Venning) were developed.
In March 2014 there was reason for local optimism that MoD Donnington would once more be radically expanded with another 500 to 700 jobs being added to the 1,000 jobs that MoD Donnington currently requires. The expansion plans were approved early that month. In 2015 Donnington was selected as the site for a new 'Defence Fulfilment Centre' for the newly-privatised Logistics, Commodities and Services element of Defence Equipment and Support. The new office and warehouse buildings are being built alongside the former Defence Storage Distribution Centre on the site and are due to open in late 2016.
In November 2014 Venning Barracks became headquarters of the newly-formed 11th Signal Brigade and Headquarters West Midlands, formed by the amalgamation of 11th Signal Brigade who were already based here since 1992, and the hitherto Shrewsbury-headquartered 143rd (West Midlands) Regional Brigade.
In September 2016 it was announced Parsons and Venning Barracks sites were among 13 sites named by the Ministry of Defence for future disposal. In November 2016 the Ministry of Defence announced that the Parsons and Venning Barracks sites would close, with an "Estimated Date of Disposal" in 2020.
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