Rutland’s Army bases and accommodation will receive a share of £180m as part of the Government’s plans to bring more soldiers to the county.
There will be more than 2,000 Army personnel based at Kendrew Barracks in Cottesmore and St Georges Barracks in North Luffenham by 2020, as part of the Government’s Army basing plans revealed on Tuesday. There are currently about 500 personnel at each base.
The move will lead to 70 per cent of troops currently based in Germany returning to the UK by 2015, with the rest returning by 2019.
As well as the arrival of 7 Regiment The Royal Logistics Corps this year, Kendrew Barracks will be home to 5 Force Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers from 2015.
And Rutland County Council has been told 2 Armoured Medical Regiment and 1 Military Working Dogs Regiment (Royal Army Veterinary Corps) will replace 16th Regiment Royal Artillery at St Georges Barracks, North Luffenham when it relocates to Thorney Island, Chichester, next year.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond revealed that Kendrew Barracks and St Georges Barracks would receive the full £180m of funding. It has since been clarified by the Ministry of Defence that the sum will be shared between bases in Grantham and Chilwell near Nottingham.
The news has been welcomed by Rutland County Council leader Roger Begy (Con).
He said: “We are delighted that the long-term future of both army bases in Rutland appears secure with the news that a share of £180m will be invested into the county as part of the Army Basing Plan.
“There is a long and proud military tradition in Rutland and we are honoured to be one of seven UK areas chosen to host returning Army troops.
“Our local bases at Cottesmore and North Luffenham have an important role to play locally and we look forward to continuing our excellent relationship with the armed forces.
“In recent years, Rutland County Council has been at the forefront of work that has already ensured the smooth arrival into Kendrew Barracks of 600 troops (and families) of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment from Cyprus during 2012.
“We have also been working closely with army colleagues for some time to plan for the arrival, during 2013, of 7 Regiment The Royal Logistics Corps. This detailed planning has seen the council work with key external partners as well as army colleagues, to focus on the impact of new arrivals in the areas of health, schools, and skills and employment.”
Coun Begy said the council will now begin planning for the arrival of the extra troops.
He said: “We look forward to welcoming the soldiers and their families to Rutland.”
Rutland MP Alan Duncan said: “This is more really good news for the Army in Rutland. We have been working for several years now to turn the negative of losing the RAF into a positive, and this is another step in the right direction.
“The share of the £180m of investment earmarked for Cottesmore and North Luffenham is a huge boost and a sign of Rutland’s place within the strategic distribution of bases and of our continuing links with the armed forces.”
Rutland County Council signed the Army Community Covenant during 2012 which encourages the local community to support local military personnel and their families.