Top level talks on future of Leuchars


Top level talks which could help to spell out the future of the RAF base at Leuchars are to take place later this month, it has emerged.

The issue came under scrutiny during First Minister’s question time in the Scottish Parliament when it was raised by North East Fife SNP MSP, Roderick Campbell.

He highlighted the continued uncertainty surrounding the future of the station following weeks of mounting speculation, with recent news that no capital investment has been spent to help prepare for the arrival of the army, as well as the deployment of No1 Typhoon Squadron there this year.

First Minister Alex Salmond told Mr Campbell the Scottish Government had made “strong representations” to the UK Government seeking clarity on future plans for Leuchars.

He added that Bruce Crawford MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Parliamentary Business and Government Strategy, had “written repeatedly” to the Secretary of State for Defence setting out the Scottish Government’s continued concerns and calling for a meeting to discuss defence transformation issues affecting Scotland.

Mr Salmond said that a meeting has been scheduled for June 14 and pledged that the Scottish Government will “work with all concerned to bring about the best result we can, in the circumstances, for service personnel, and their families and communities such as Leuchars.”

Welcoming the response, Mr Campbell indicated that it was almost a year since the Secretary of State for Defence announced the closure of RAF Leuchars and that the local community was “extremely perturbed by the absence of information.”

He said: ”I am delighted that the First Minister and Mr Crawford are continuing to fight for the people of Leuchars.

‘‘The SNP fought hard to retain the airbase, and we are continuing to fight to get the best result possible for it.

“It is clear that the local community needs answers so they can properly plan for the future.”