Red Arrows are '˜here to stay' as MP quashes fears of move

Fears that the world-famous Red Arrows, based at RAF Scampton, could be moved out of the county have been quashed by a government minister.

The Red Arrows performing a low-level flypast at RAF Scampton.
The Red Arrows performing a low-level flypast at RAF Scampton.

Suggestions were made last month that the Royal Air Force’s aerobatic team could be forced out of their home in the Gainsborough area to a new base at Doncaster Sheffield Airport, which is located at the former RAF Finningley base in south Yorkshire.

But after writing an urgent letter to the Ministry of Defence, Gainsborough’s MP, Sir Edward Leigh, has received an assurance that the Red Arrows are going nowhere.

Replying to the letter was Tobias Ellwood, who is Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Defence People and Veterans and who served in the British Army for six years.

Mr Ellwood wrote: “As part of a wider rationalisation programme within the Ministry of Defence, numerous options are often discussed and order to deliver efficient operational outputs and to achieve value money for the taxpayer. However, there is no plan to move the Red Arrows’ base from RAF Scampton to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.”

Sir Edward said: “I am very pleased the minister has provided the assurance I was seeking on behalf of local residents. The Red Arrows are an important part of Lincolnshire, which has a tremendous aviation heritage.

“To lose them would be a blow, both to the local economy and to local sentiment. They play an important role that really puts our corner of Lincolnshire on the map. I am very pleased they are here to stay.”