May 30, 2019 10.54 am This story is over 60 months old

Council ramps up campaign to keep Red Arrows

An open letter points out RAF Waddington as the “obvious choice” for the new home of the Red Arrows

Lincolnshire County Council has ramped up its campaign to keep the Red Arrows in the county by highlighting RAF Waddington as the “obvious choice” for the aerobatic team’s new home.

Alongside Waddington, RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire and RAF Wittering near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, are the two other possible locations for the reds.

Councillor Martin Hill, the leader of the council, has written to the Secretary of State for Defence asking for assistance in keeping the Red Arrows in Lincolnshire.

The government confirmed the closure of RAF Scampton last year, throwing the future of the Red Arrows into doubt.

Sign a joint campaign by The Lincolnite and Visit Lincoln to keep the Red Arrows in the county.

The council leader has now made the case through an open letter: “We have asked the Secretary of State for her support in ensuring that Lincolnshire remains the home of the Red Arrows.

“This is something local people are passionately campaigning for, with thousands signing a petition to keep the team at an airbase here in their home county.

“Aside from the county’s close historical ties with the Red Arrows, this is also the best option both operationally and economically.

“Firstly, we offer an ideal training location – not only do we have the available airspace, but we have the high-quality housing and schools needed by the crew and their families.

“Looking at the economic considerations, aviation heritage is a cornerstone of Lincolnshire’s tourism sector and visitors are often drawn by the chance of seeing the Red Arrows in action in the skies above Lincoln.

“In addition, the county has a growing defence technology sector, with close links to the RAF, including the Red Arrows themselves.

“Not only are these businesses vital to the creation of the high-quality jobs needed to drive local growth, but they ensure the UK retains its global reputation for innovation in aerospace technologies, attracting customers from around the world.

“Finally, the Red Arrows have been important ambassadors for our county, and recently played a central role in a major trade visit from the governor of Hunan, China, which promises to open the door to significant investment both within Lincolnshire and the wider Midlands Engine area.

“Taking all these factors into account, we are sure the Secretary of State will agree that, of the three short-listed bases, RAF Waddington is the obvious choice for the Red Arrows’ new home.”