Forces TV films life in Leuchars

Forces TV reporter Ali Gibson and cameraman Chris Giles interview pupils Martin McDowell, Leah Bloomfield and Emma Bladen at Madras College. (Photo by Peter Adamson)
Forces TV reporter Ali Gibson and cameraman Chris Giles interview pupils Martin McDowell, Leah Bloomfield and Emma Bladen at Madras College. (Photo by Peter Adamson)

A short documentary programme has been filmed in and around Leuchars to give army personnel and their families an idea of what to expect when they arrive next year.

Forces TV reporter Ali Gibson and cameraman Chris Giles spent three days in Leuchars last week, filming at the base and finding out about the services and facilities on offer in the surrounding area.

They looked at issues such as education, health and housing, and their filming included interviews with pupils at Leuchars Primary School and Madras College in St Andrews, two of the schools that will accommodate children from army families.

Around 850 soldiers and their families are due to arrive in north east Fife next year. The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and 2nd Close Support Battalion REME will move to Leuchars from Fallingbostel in Germany, while 110 Provost Company will move over from Sennelager.

It’s part of the Army 2020 plan which involves 12,000 troops returning to the UK, ending an era of nearly 70 years of British forces being based in Germany.

Ali said: “Forces TV has been given special access to bases in Germany and the UK to see how drawdown is progressing and to find out what the troops and their families feel about leaving Germany.

“We have also be profiling bases across Britain to see how they are preparing for the huge influx of troops coming home.”

The Army, RAF, Fife Council, NHS Fife, Police Scotland and local community groups have all been working together for many months to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible.

Keith Winter, who chairs the community operational working group, said: “With the RAF having moved out and the Army still to arrive, we’re in a period where people are wondering what it’s going to be like, who are they going to get as their neighbours.

“We have to remember it’s going to mean big changes for the Army families too, moving from another country to a new area. We want to make sure we welcome them and give them the support they need to become part of the community.

“The documentary by Forces TV will help with that.”

‘Base to Base - Leuchars’ will be broadcast on Monday on Forces TV, Sky channel 264, Virgin 244 and Freesat 652.