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RAF Alconbury closure

8th January 2015

Jonathan Djanogly, the MP for the Huntingdon constituency, commented today on the US Government’s decision to close RAF Alconbury and RAF Molesworth.

The closure is intended to take place over the next 4-5 years and approximately 1300 of the 1900 US Service personnel are due to transfer to RAF Croughton. It is thought that in the region of 300 UK jobs will be impacted. Of the 300, some two thirds are MoD employees.

Mr. Djanogly said:

“With over 70 years of US personnel being stationed at our local bases and with all of the resulting close bonds with our US friends and allies, it will be very sad to see the US leave.

“In addition the bases, with their tens of millions of pounds of investment in the local economy will certainly be missed in the short term, although the 4-5 year timescale should enable a transitional period.

“However, we can be pleased that at least they are relocating in the UK rather than abroad as was previously feared.

“We had heard rumours of a potential move last year and I had written to the US Secretary of State for Defense and the American Ambassador in London asking that they reconsider any decision to move from Alconbury. Unfortunately, the move is now happening and the important thing now is to make the best of the situation.

“I have heard that the Department for BIS is setting up a joint Task Force to look at the two sites plus RAF Mildenhall which is also being closed. The Task Force will be engaging with the relevant local authorities shortly on supporting affected staff and reviewing the best future use for the sites.

“Importantly, we should appreciate that the Alconbury site is situated next to the Alconbury Enterprise Zone and that this is very much a growth area within the constituency. Hopefully the US departure will provide an opportunity to integrate the residential, leisure and health facilities that exist on the base into the area’s wider growth proposals.

“I met the Secretary of State for Defence today to have a preliminary discussion on the proposals and he has agreed to meet again shortly together with the leader of the District Council. It is clearly important that we make proper provisions for the staff concerned and look towards maximising the potential of these important sites.”

Attached is a copy of the Secretary of State for Defence’s letter of 8 January 2015.

| Letter from Secretary of State for Defence, 8th January 2015


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