February 4, 2021 5.08 pm This story is over 17 months old

MoD had no interested buyers for RAF Scampton yet

MP calls for transparency over the base’s future

The Ministry of Defence has yet to find private companies interested in securing the site of RAF Scampton for future development, according to Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh.

No exact date for the closure of the home of the Red Arrows has been announced, but the initial plan was for it to be shut by 2022.

Once RAF Scampton is closed, the Red Arrows will move to RAF Waddington, around 10 miles away from their current home. This came after an official petition with over 11,000 signatures was presented to the government to keep the Red Arrows in Lincolnshire.

In response to a written parliamentary question from Sir Edward Leigh, defence procurement minister Jeremy Quin recently said “no discussions have been held with any potential acquirors of the RAF Scampton site”.

The minister also said that the MoD has been engaging with both West Lindsey District Council and Lincolnshire County Council over the future of the RAF base.

MP for Gainsborough, Sir Edward Leigh.

Sir Edward Leigh believes the future of the RAF Scampton base must be decided through an “open and transparent” process.

He said: “RAF Scampton is an important place in the history of our county and our country.

“We need to make sure this history is respected when its defence role ends, but we also need to avoid errors made when the MOD disposed of other RAF bases.

“There are lessons to be learned and I am glad that West Lindsey as well as the county council are involved already.”

The MoD has been looking at ways to preserve the aviation heritage of RAF Scampton after its closure. During the Second World War, it was home to 617 Squadron which famously took part in the Dambusters raids in 1943.

An MOD Spokesperson said: “We continue to engage with Lincolnshire County Council and West Lindsey District Council regarding any future use of the site.

“The Ministry of Defence recognises that RAF Scampton is a site of historical significance and will look at options to provide a sustainable solution for preserving the story of the Station after its closure.”