RAF COTTESMORE will be occupied by the Army once it closes as an airbase, the Government has confirmed today.
It was announced that one of five army multi-role brigades will occupy the base.
The RAF is currently vacating the site, with the iconic Harrier jumpjet making its final flight through the Rutland skies in December 2010.
Since then, some RAF personnel have remained at the base but they are due to leave over the next few months to finally vacate by March 31, 2012.
Leader of Rutland County Council Roger Begy (Con) said: “This announcement is really good news for the county and means that Cottesmore and the surrounding areas will have a new lease of life. We are delighted that the base is set to be fully occupied again.
“We are still looking at the finer details of the announcement with regards to exact timings. The RAF is due to occupy the site until March next year. The economic situation of Cottesmore won’t change overnight, but this will certainly help. Rutland County Council has worked closely with the MoD in recent months and I am delighted to welcome the army to Cottesmore. It is good news that they will be utilising the base.”
Deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for economic development Coun Terry King (Con) added: “It is pleasing to see that the site will be occupied by the Army. The council will continue to work closely with the MoD to make sure the council is fully involved in any decisions about the long-term use of the site.
“The announcement is a real boost for Rutland and I welcome the Army to the county. I’m sure that Cottesmore will prove ideal for their training purposes.”
Rutland MP Alan Duncan commented: “It is excellent news that Rutland will continue to host the military. Following the previous Government’s decision to close the base the future of the site hung in the balance and it seemed we might be left with a derelict site. The council and I have worked hard with the MOD to avoid this and we have delivered a good result for the county.
“Rutland is now at the heart of the new multi-role brigade structure for the army and can look forward to continuing its close relationship with the military. It has been a difficult couple of years for Rutland, but we now have a well-deserved victory to be proud of.”
Rutland County Council has been working with a group of partners which have met regularly since it was announced that the base would close. Members include Jobcentre Plus and the National Health Service.