The Lincolnite is backing a campaign and petition by Visit Lincoln to keep the Red Arrows in Lincolnshire even though plans to close RAF Scampton could go ahead.
Visit Lincoln is the organisation responsible for tourism across the city and county, is asking for your support towards its campaign to keep the Red Arrows team based in Lincolnshire, at a time when Yorkshire is bidding to become the home of the Reds.
The campaign is being jointly run by Visit Lincoln and The Lincolnite, and supported by a growing number of private sector businesses and local residents.
Lydia Rusling, Chief Executive of Visit Lincoln, said: “There are still many unanswered questions around the closure of RAF Scampton, but as the organisation responsible for tourism in Lincolnshire we are committed to doing all we can to ensure our connection to the Royal Air Force, the county’s unique aviation heritage and Red Arrows team remains strong and appealing to visitors and residents.
She explained: “Our campaign does not focus on the closure of RAF Scampton, but the successful relocation of the Red Arrows team to another base within Lincolnshire.”
“Whilst the decision to close RAF Scampton is out of our control, we need your support to put a compelling case forward the MoD to ensure the Red Arrows team stay in Lincolnshire.”
Why the Red Arrows should stay in Lincolnshire
Economic value to the county
Tourism contributes £1.4billion to the Lincolnshire economy and supports nearly 20,000 jobs. Lincolnshire’s aviation heritage attracts people from all over the world – this came to the fore in 2017 with Visit Lincoln’s ‘RAF Lincolnshire’ tourism campaign which marked Lincolnshire’s long history to the RAF at 100. Tens of thousands of people continue to view the ‘RAF Lincolnshire’ tourism video that Visit Lincoln produced and many more took part in the 100 Voices trails across the county.
Visitors from across the world visit the newly opened International Bomber Command Centre, and the Bastion in the Air Exhibition which was held last year exceeded all expectations resulting in the exhibition being extended. Aviation in Lincolnshire, past and present, is an economic driver and needs protecting.
History and heritage
Lincolnshire has strong links with the Royal Air Force since before its founding in 1918, and the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team has been synonymous with Lincolnshire for more than 30 years. As a result, the decision to relocate them outside the county should not be taken lightly by the MOD, and every effort should be made to show the county’s passion and pride to keep them in Lincolnshire.
For the past 30 years people in Lincolnshire have grown up with the Red Arrows – and whilst it is extremely sad to see them leave their base at Scampton, it is unthinkable to see them leave Lincolnshire. Our county’s residents and visitors enjoy watching them and sharing the experience with friends and family. The Red Arrows are part of Lincolnshire’s identity and are used in many successful marketing campaigns which highlight Lincolnshire as a great place to live, work, visit, invest and study.
Government ministers will have to respond to any petitions with over 10,000 signatures. Petitions with over 100,000 signatures will be considered for a debate in Parliament.