Plans for the jobs bonanza are now fully developed, say sources, despite the threat posed to the Royal Navy’s future on Gare Loch.
The revelation has led to renewed speculation that if there is a Yes vote next month, the Ministry of Defence expects to strike a deal to keep the UK’s nuclear deterrent in Scotland.
In the event of a No vote, Faslane will become Britain’s only specialist submarine base with the capacity for 16 vessels by 2022.
It will house seven new nuclear-powered Astute Class attack subs, currently being built at a cost of £1bn each, as well as the four Trident-carrying Vanguard Class vessels.
Two attack boats, HMS Astute and HMS Ambush, are already based at Faslane after being handed to the Royal Navy by defence contractor BAE Systems.Scotland will also become the sole maintenance home for the submarine fleet, following the closure of Portsmouth dockyard last year and after the Devonport base near Plymouth is scaled down by 2017.
While the MoD estimates that around 1,500 military and civilian jobs will be added at Faslane, thousands more jobs will be created as construction begins.
A source said: “The blueprints have been drawn up and the transition plans for the new Faslane are now under way. The original facility was designed to hold seven submarines, but under the new plans, a total of 16 will be hosted at any given time. The design plans are currently before the MoD and will effectively double the size of the facility and bring thousands of new jobs to the area. It’s a massive boost for Scotland.”
A Royal Navy spokesman said: “HM Naval Base Clyde is the biggest employment site in Scotland, with direct employment of 6,700 military and civilian jobs.
“Numbers of personnel at HM Naval Base Clyde are set to increase to an estimated 8,200 by 2022 as it becomes the UK’s Sub- marine Centre of Specialisation.
“There are currently six sub- marines and seven mine hunters base-ported at the site. By 2022 we expect that all the Royal Navy’s submarines, and seven mine hunters, will be at Clyde.”
In response to the latest developments, the Scottish Government reiterated its plans to remove Trident by 2020 and keep Faslane as Scotland’s main naval base. The SNP has said the country would inherit a share of Royal Navy vessels, as well as investing in an undisclosed number of “new frigates, conventional submarines and maritime patrol aircraft”.
A Scottish Conservative spokesman said the investment would be a massive boost for Scotland, but warned: “Unfortunately, all we hear from the Scottish Government is how they can’t get rid of the base quickly enough. As a result, a Yes vote in September would be hugely