February 3, 2023 9.00 pm This story is over 14 months old

Gainsborough MP wants runway kept open at RAF Scampton ahead of takeover

He discussed the ideas of some bidders

Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh says he would like to see the runway at RAF Scampton kept serviceable whatever final decision is made on the plans for the base.

He believes the timescale is “quite imminent” and that “this autumn is when West Lindsey District Council is going to basically take over ownership of it”.

The £300 million redevelopment plans could see a hotel, restaurants and a museum built on the land, which was previously occupied by the Red Arrows who are now based at RAF Waddington. The Red Arrows left the air base in October 2022, after making it their home for decades.

In December 2022, it was reported that West Lindsey District Council was looking for a partner to regenerate and develop the site. The Corporate Policy and Resources Committee previously unanimously voted to continue work towards acquiring and regenerating the base.

Sir Edward Leigh, whose constituency covers the whole district of West Lindsey, told The Lincolnite: “It’s too early to say exactly what it will be, but it won’t just be housing. It will be some quite exciting things.

“There’s going to be a preferred bidder (after the council take ownership of the base), who will have a series of offers – a mix of housing, maybe some sort of theme park and maybe some use of the runway.

“One of the ideas that a bidder had was quite a good idea, that some of these sort of oligarchs who fly into London come in with an aeroplane and it’s too expensive to keep it in Heathrow, so their pilots can come here and stay in a hotel, and park their plane.

“One of the bidders had extraordinarily exciting plans for a huge theme park, they want to build a Red Arrows tower. They want to have a lake with surfing on it, but I think we’ve got to be realistic…and there’s got to be some industrial development.”

He added that he wants to see the runway kept open and would also like to see a “proper Bomber Command museum and to celebrate the history of the base of the Dambusters.”

The MP said his role now in terms of Scampton is to meet with the procurement minister whenever the district council encounters a problem.

The Lincolnite has contacted West Lindsey District Council for further information.

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