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Home of the Red Arrows RAF Scampton will be closing in 2022

NGAS Stock pic of RAF Scampton
NGAS Stock pic of RAF Scampton

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed it will be closing RAF Scampton, home of the Red Arrows, in 2022 as a cost cutting exercise.

RAF Scampton, which was also home to 617 Squadron as they prepared for the Dambusters mission in World War Two, has housed the Red Arrows since 2000.

Tobias Ellwood, defence minister, said: “The MOD will close RAF Scampton in 2022, relocating the RAF Aerobatics Team (RAFAT) and others to locations more fit for purpose.

“The disposal of the site would offer better value for money and, crucially, better military capability by relocating the units based there.

“The MOD can also confirm the intention to cease RAF use of RAF Linton-on-Ouse (North Yorkshire) in 2020.

“RAF Linton-on Ouse is the base of the Tucano training aircraft, as the RAF plans to retire this aircraft, the site will no longer be needed.

“Instead, we will be able to concentrate basic and advanced fast jet training at RAF Valley from 2019.

“The MOD remains committed to making the right decisions to provide effective support to Defence capabilities and best value for money for the taxpayer.”

Gainsborough MP, Sir Edward Leigh, said: “I am saddened by news from the Ministry of Defence that RAF Scampton is to be sold off as part of cost-saving measures.

“The base is home to the world-famous RAF Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, the Mobile Meteorological Unit and No. 1 Air Control Centre.

“With more than 600 personnel working on the base, including service personnel, contractors and civil servants, the planned closure will have a significant impact on local people and economy.

“I know that the future of RAF bases is always a concern and I have been working with, and will continue to work with, colleagues on both West Lindsey District Council and Lincolnshire County Council to ensure that whatever the future holds for RAF Scampton it has a bright future.

“I will work to persuade the ministry that the base can still retain an RAF function in the future.

“Should that not be possible perhaps there are civilian uses for the base.

“A masterplan for the base at RAF Scampton could cost millions of pounds to pull together and could form part of any greater Lincolnshire growth deal.”

Coun Jeff Summers, leader of West Lindsey District Council, said: “We are disappointed to hear the news that the home of the Red Arrows is to be sold off by the Ministry of Defence.

“The RAF has a rich heritage in Lincolnshire and this news will be upsetting for many people.

“Together with Lincolnshire County Council we look forward to developing a plan for the site to explore the positives to ensure the heritage of RAF Scampton is reflected in future developments that meet the needs of the local economy. This announcement now creates the opportunity to think creatively around housing, work opportunities and the district’s infrastructure plan.”