RAF Scampton: West Lindsey council bids for £150,000 towards plan for future of site

RAF Scampton
RAF Scampton

West Lindsey District Council has bid for £150,000 worth of funding to help draw up plans for the future of RAF Scampton.

Backed by Lincolnshire County Council, the authority has bid to the Greater Lincolnshire One Public Estate Board for resources and project costs.

County council leader Martin Hill said the money will go towards early “investigations” which will determine possible uses for the base before proposals are drawn up.

Both councils are working on a 15-year plan for the site, though officers said it is in “very early stages” and use has “yet to be defined in any way”.

According to a report that will go before district councillors, authority officials will “consider potential housing” for the site as well as “employment opportunities”.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed the closure of the base last year, throwing the future of the site and the Red Arrows into doubt.

Under MoD plans, the base will close by 2022.

Eve Fawcett-Moralee, executive director of economic and commercial growth, at West Lindsey District Council, said: “The council is committed to getting the best possible outcome for our local communities.

“Together with Lincolnshire County Council, we are supporting the MoD and Defence Infrastructure Organisation, to secure the future of the RAF Scampton site.

“There is still a lot of work to do about what is possible. Nothing is fixed and we are still exploring all options available to us.

“We should know if our bid for funding is successful in the next few months, which would support our community engagement work and master planning of the site.”

Meanwhile Councillor Hill said it is “vital” that a sensible plan is found for the site.

“The county and district councils have come together to support the MoD and Defence Infrastructure Organisation in finding the best way forward,” he said.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done over the coming months, looking at what’s possible and what’s not.

“And there will be a cost associated with that, which is why we are bidding for this funding.

“After those investigations have happened, we’ll be able to start exploring potential options for the future.

“However, our chief aim is to get the best possible outcome for our local communities.”

RAF Scampton is currently home to around 600 members of staff, including service personnel, contractors and civil servants.

The base became host to 617 Squadron (more widely known as the Dambusters), which was established in 1943. From here, they flew the most famous mission – operation Chastise.

Last week, a petition to save the base from closure passed the 10,000 signature mark meaning the government must respond.