NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

MP concerned for future of Kinloss Barracks in Moray

Nimrod at Kinloss Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A Nimrod aircraft at Kinloss before the planes were scrapped and site later closed as an air station

The SNP has raised concerns about the future of Kinloss Barracks in Moray.

Moray MP Angus Robertson says he has been told by an "impeccable source" at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) the former air station could be closed.

The MoD is carrying out a review of its property portfolio and land no longer needed is being sold off and the money raised invested in the armed forces.

Kinloss is not among sites named in the review and the MoD said no decisions have been made about future ones.

Earlier this year, the SNP raised concerns that Fort George near Ardersier could be closed as a military barracks as part of defence cuts.

'Government promises'

Mr Robertson said the closure of Kinloss Barracks would be "a betrayal" of promises made to people in Moray following the decision end of the site's life as an RAF station.

RAF Kinloss was home to Nimrod surveillance aircraft before all of those stationed there were retired in 2010 and new planes were scrapped.

The site closed as an air station in 2012 and the Army now occupies the former air station.

RAF personnel and jet aircraft continue to operate from nearby RAF Lossiemouth.

Mr Robertson said: "At that time the UK government promised an army presence at the base and for that to be under threat in such a short space of time is totally unacceptable.

"Moray's communities have been massively supportive of our military personnel based both at Lossiemouth and Kinloss."

'New destroyers'

A spokesperson for the MoD said: "MoD land currently spans about half a million football pitches.

"We are looking to sell what we don't need so new homes can be built on it.

"Every penny made will be invested back into defence on things like the new maritime aircraft at Lossiemouth or the new destroyers being built on the Clyde.

"We've currently named 22 sites but no decisions about future ones have been taken."

The 22 sites are all in England, except Craigiehall, an Army headquarters in Edinburgh.

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