FATE OF FIFE AIRBASE TO BE REVEALED

RAF Leuchars main gate.
RAF Leuchars main gate.
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THE fate of closure-threatened RAF Leuchars is set to be revealed on Monday.

It is understood the long-awaited results of the UK basing review were reported to Cabinet ministers yesterday (Thursday) ahead of a public announcement next week.

Supporters face a nail-biting few days while they wait to hear if the RAF’s 90-year association with Leuchars will continue.

North East Fife MP Sir Menzies Campbell said campaigners fighting to save the base could be “proud” of their efforts over the past eight months.

He told the Fife Herald: “The campaign for the retention of RAF Leuchars has been well organised and conducted in a manner of which the people of north east Fife can be proud.

“Ever since Leuchars was first drawn into the debate about the future of RAF bases our campaign has been vigorous and positive.

“We have not fallen into the trap of competing with other bases.”

Sir Menzies said the strategic defence case for retaining RAF Leuchars had been made “effectively” throughout the campaign.

He added that any remaining opportunity to fight for the base would be taken over the next few days.

The first hint an announcement could be imminent was dropped by Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox in the House of Commons on Monday.

He said: “Having taken a number of the key decisions over the weekend, I hope that we will make progress very shortly.”

It is thought either Leuchars or RAF Lossiemouth in Moray will be handed over to the army, with 20,000 troops set to be brought back from Germany over the next few years.

But supporters of Leuchars hope the basing shake-up — conducted amid defence spending cuts — will see the RAF remain in north east Fife.

Carroll Finnie, vice-chair of the Leuchars task force, said campaigners were feeling “very positive” about the outcome.

She said: “I think we’ve done everything we can during the campaign, so no matter the outcome we can always say that.

“But we’re feeling very positive about things — it’s just a case of waiting and seeing now.”

She added: “We’re still pushing for people to e-mail the Prime Minister showing their support for Leuchars right up until the decision is announced.

“His letter last week saying he was impressed by the strength of feeling for Leuchars really gave us a lift.”

Supporters of Leuchars can e-mail the Prime Minister using the online contact form at https://email.number10.gov.uk/Contact.aspx