I thank the Deputy for the question.
I am fully committed to the development and improvement of the physical environment and living conditions in military installations throughout the country. This year some €28 million was allocated towards the maintenance and development of new building projects for the Defence Forces. This represents an increase of over €10 million compared to 2018 and I can confirm to the Deputy that it is intended that the budget allocation will be matched in the coming years to ensure that the level of building activity is in line with requirements.
In this context and looking to the future, I can confirm that a five-year built infrastructural plan is now at a very advanced stage of development and will be completed in the coming weeks. The plan, developed together with the military authorities, will provide a blueprint for investment in the Defence Forces built infrastructure over a multi-annual timeframe. The plan will ensure that the required capital funding is prioritised. The list of projects for delivery will be updated annually to form the basis for the selection of capital projects under the programme into the future.
In relation to the Defence Forces training centre, I can confirm that over the period of 2016 to end 2018, some €17 million was spent on various capital projects and ongoing maintenance of buildings and facilities. Most notably, this included the refurbishment of Blocks B and D of Pearse Barracks, as well as the provision of a newly constructed ammunition storage facility.
The upgrade and refurbishment of Plunkett Block 7 in the Curragh Camp, Defence Forces training centre, involves the refurbishment of an existing building to provide accommodation for 58 personnel to modern standards. Work on this project is advancing well and is expected to be completed in quarter 2, 2020 at a cost of €2 million.
In 2019, it is intended that some €3.5 million will be expended by year-end on ongoing maintenance and improvement works in the Defence Forces training centre. In addition, construction will commence on a new Cadet School headquarters building in the Curragh at a cost of €2 million. The project involves the construction of a new building to provide office and ancillary accommodation for management, lecturers and support staff. Key ongoing projects are now under way to improve our Defence Forces accommodation and living standards across our military installations.