The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) has confirmed that following a review of operations, they will be exiting the Fort Halstead site (nr Sevenoaks) over the next 5 years.
The 840 staff – mainly technical professionals – will be offered the chance to relocate to either Portsdown West (nr Portsmouth) or Porton Down (nr Salisbury). As all capability will be maintained, Security Sciences and Detection are to move to Porton Down (670 staff), and Land Battlespace Systems to Portsdown West (170 staff).
As the local media have indicated, this strikes another blow to the Kent economy following the announcement in February that Pfizer are to exit the Sandwich site, with the loss of up to 2400 employees.
DSTL was covered in a series of articles on State-Sponsored Research here in March, when they were advertising chemist roles in Porton Down, but the 10 vacancies they currently have on their careers site are unlikely to be of interest.