RAF Scampton

Two residents at a Lincoln care home saw their dreams come true when they met Red Arrows pilots and enjoyed a private display at RAF Scampton.

Bernadette House on South Park in Lincoln has a wish tree. Every residents gets to make a wish and the care home tries to grant as many as possible.

Joyce Garner, who is 101-years-old, and 89-year-old Richard Connor both made a wish to meet the pilots from the Red Arrows team and spend time with them.

Bernadette House resident Richard Connor, pictured with his grandson Lewis and relative Michelle, loved meeting the Red Arrows at RAF Scampton.

On Wednesday, November 17 they got to do just that thanks to the care home’s activity co-ordinator Jackie Woodin who helped make it possible.

The two residents and their families also enjoyed a private fly-by from the Red Arrows, which lasted around 20 minutes, as well as a tour of the bases.

Elizabeth Stephens, Director at Bernadette House, with Joyce’s son John, and the Red Arrows.

The care home said: “We are so grateful to the Red Arrows team to allow us to do this, and we are honoured to have granted our residents’ wishes.”

Councils are cautiously welcoming interest in major plans to transform RAF Scampton as the area’s MP says it can’t be “just another theme park”.

The plans, which made headlines yesterday, include a massive edifice to the Red Arrows, a 550 acre commemorative park for the RAF and Dambusters and a 65-acre filming and gaming studio.

The Horizon Park venture website outlines what developers want to create on the 8-900 acre site once it goes to tender by the Ministry of Defence and the Red Arrows move to RAF Waddington.

Those behind the plans said it will commemorate the site’s history, but also redevelop parts of it and provide “new and sustainable economic growth”.

A spokesperson for West Lindsey District Council said: “As residents will no doubt imagine, there is huge amounts of interest in the future of the site at RAF Scampton – and we are aware of a number of proposals that are being worked up.

“At this stage however, although the intention to close RAF Scampton at the end of 2022 has been announced, the site has not yet formally been put up for sale and therefore interest at this stage remains purely interest.

“We will continue to work closely with DIO (Defence Infrastructure Organisation), MOD (Ministry of Defence) and Lincolnshire County Council, as well as the local community to get the future uses of the site right.”

A Lincolnshire County Council spokesman said their stance was the same.

More images from the website showing some of the potential proposals. | Image: Horizon Park Website/https://horizon-park.co.uk

As well as the Horizon Park centre-piece – which will include cinemas and vintage trams – there are also initial plans for:

  • 110 acres of residential villages designed around the community
  • A 17 acre Academy of Excellence focusing on sustainable intensification of arable and grazing-livestock
  • A 38-acre business centre
  • A 16 acre centre for professionals and enthusiasts to restore aircraft and land vehicles
  • And a 65-acre “Arrow Studios” – a facility combining gaming and film techniques with a state of the art studio space

More images from the website showing some of the potential proposals. | Image: Horizon Park Website/https://horizon-park.co.uk

Gainsborough MP Edward Leigh told BBC Radio Lincolnshire on Tuesday: “The aim of this is to preserve the heritage of RAF Scamptom and the home of the Dambusters with a proper museum and not just turn it into yet another theme park. Otherwise what’s the point?”

Lincolnshire residents had mixed feelings over the plans with some praising the designs.

Ben Shearman said: “All sounds and looks good, we shall see how much actually comes off. But very very hopeful would be good to have this draw in the area”

Jill Lowery said: “What a great idea.” While Chris Forrest also said: “The plans look good.”

More images from the website showing some of the potential proposals. | Image: Horizon Park Website/https://horizon-park.co.uk

Meanwhile, others were sceptical the Horizon Park plans would end up going ahead.

Colin Toll said: “It will just end up as just another sprawling housing estate in the middle of nowhere.”

Ben Rook pointed out “they’ve not even managed to take the sample text and mock-up template pages off their website,” noting that if the site is in a smaller window, additional sections pop up, but are just template designs.

“Unless they are actually planning to build the Lorem Ipsum building,” he added.

Some detailed designs have been published on the Horizon Park website. | | Image: Horizon Park Website/https://horizon-park.co.uk

Warren Smith promised to stop leaving sarcastic comments on local news website’s social media “if there is anything built on Scampton that half resembles any of these computer images”.

Other suggestions included requests to re-route the A15 and to save buildings on the site including the Officers Mess and the grave of Guy Gibson’s dog.

Another visual of the Horizon Park designs.

Major plans for RAF Scampton including a massive edifice to the Red Arrows, a 550 acre commemorative park for the RAF and Dambusters and a 65-acre filming and gaming studio could be on the horizon.

The Horizon Park venture website outlines what developers want to create on the 8-900 acre site once it goes to tender by the Ministry of Defence.

The site shows how the potential buyers want to commemorate the site’s history, but also redevelop parts of it and provide “new and sustainable economic growth”.

As well as the Horizon Park centre-piece – which will include cinemas and vintage trams – there are also initial plans for:

  • 110 acres of residential villages designed around the community
  • A 17 acre Academy of Excellence focusing on sustainable intensification of arable and grazing-livestock
  • A 38-acre business centre
  • A 16 acre centre for professionals and enthusiasts to restore aircraft and land vehicles
  • And a 65-acre “Arrow Studios” – a facility combining gaming and film techniques with a state of the art studio space

Those behind the plans are keen to point out that not everything is set in stone and that there is a long way to go before the land is even bought, never mind planning applications going in.

However, they said the plans were “very exciting and ambitious proposals”.

“At present we are engaged with a number of public and private sector organisations in order to formulate our plans and strategies and to explore where we have synergy with other interested parties,” said a spokesman.

An artist’s impression from the Horizon Park website. | Image: Horizon Park Website/https://horizon-park.co.uk

“We are in the process of gaining feedback from those organisations we have been talking to and assessing any expressions of interest in partnerships or co-operative working arrangements.”

They said a comprehensive consultation process would take place with “various interested local audiences” when the plan was “much further developed”.

The MoD announced in 2018 that RAF Scampton – the home of the Red Arrows – would be closed as part of cost-saving measures.

There will be a particular focus on the history of the site according to the website. | Image: Horizon Park Website/https://horizon-park.co.uk

The famous Reds will remain in Lincolnshire but will move to RAF Waddington instead.

It was later confirmed the site would go up for sale by the end of 2022.

During the Second World War, RAF Scampton was home to 617 Squadron which famously took part in the Dambusters raids in 1943.

Campaigners have previously called for the site to be turned into a heritage centre.

More images from the website showing some of the potential proposals. | Image: Horizon Park Website/https://horizon-park.co.uk

| Image: Horizon Park Website/https://horizon-park.co.uk

| Image: Horizon Park Website/https://horizon-park.co.uk

| Image: Horizon Park Website/https://horizon-park.co.uk

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