£3m spent to upgrade RAF Leuchars last year

15/05/09, TSPL, Scotsman, Scottish Conservative Party conference 2009, Perth concert Hall Perth. Conservative Leader David Cameron makes his speach to the party faithfull.  pic Ian Rutherford
15/05/09, TSPL, Scotsman, Scottish Conservative Party conference 2009, Perth concert Hall Perth. Conservative Leader David Cameron makes his speach to the party faithfull. pic Ian Rutherford
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PRIME Minister David Cameron this week praised the “remarkable level of support and affection” shown towards RAF Leuchars during the campaign to save the under-threat base.

In a letter to North East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell, Mr Cameron also acknowledged the “longstanding” links between the RAF and north east Fife.

And with a decision on the future of the base due within the next fortnight, figures reveal nearly £3 million was ploughed into infrastructure for Leuchars’ Typhoon fleet in the most recent financial year.

Mr Cameron wrote: “It is not difficult to appreciate why the future of the base is a matter of real concern to you and your constituents.

APPRECIATED

“The association between Fife and RAF Leuchars is a long-standing one, and the people of Fife have supported the service people and their families based there over the course of many years.

“I know this support continues to be appreciated by all who are based there now.”

He went on: “I hope this response is helpful and reassures you that the points you have made are being taken into account.

“I am impressed by the remarkable level of support and affection felt by the local community towards the RAF in Fife.

“We hope the basing review will conclude as swiftly as possible and I appreciate the patience of our armed forces, civilian personnel and local communities as this is under way.”

The results of the basing review — conducted amid severe defence spending cuts — will be announced by July 19.

Speculation has been rife that the RAF could be moved out of Leuchars in favour of army troops returning from Germany.

But figures obtained by Sir Menzies in parliament show £2.9 million was invested in upgrading the base’s Typhoon fighter jet capabilities in 2010-11.

Sir Menzies said: “These figures show that despite having the threat of closure hanging over it, work at the base is very much continuing as normal.

“It has already been demonstrated beyond doubt that RAF Leuchars is in the ideal geographical position to fulfil its duty of policing and protecting northern British airspace.  

“The significant investment which continues to be made in the base will ensure that it is perfectly equipped for this role.”

He added: “If the government agrees with me that RAF Leuchars is in the right place, at the right time and doing the right job, it needs to put its mouth where its money is and confirm that the RAF will stay in Fife.”