Bassingbourn Barracks to stand empty for over three years claim
THE Crow has been told that Bassingbourn Barracks could stand empty for more than three years, putting about 80 civilian jobs at risk.
A source inside the barracks, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed the plans were revealed in a meeting with a high-ranking officer last week.
Bassingbourn Barracks currently trains troops but the insider said the last recruits would pass through the base next year.
The source said: “We have had a meeting in the parade square, and were told that the last recruits will be passing through Bassingbourn in May next year.
“That means they will be finishing their training in July.
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“What The Crow has been told by the MoD is smoke and mirrors. They’re planning to bring troops into Bassingbourn Barracks in 2016.
“By Christmas next year the barracks will be put in some sort of mothball situation, and in the next three years it will be taken by one army field unit.
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“That means from a civilian point of view pretty much all civilians will lose their jobs.”
It was revealed last week, as part of the government’s defence review, that the Ministry of Defence would be keeping the barracks, and one Army multi role brigade would be based in the east of England – centred in Rutland.
Bassingbourn Barracks was said to be earmarked to accommodate troops returning from Germany who will be back by 2020.
When The Crow put the new claims to the MoD, it released the following statement.
A spokesman said: “We cannot answer your questions… as this level of detail hasn’t been worked out yet.
“This is a huge piece of work which has laid out the top level plans for the basing of our Armed Forces throughout the UK for the next 50 years.
“Services will now need to work on detailed plans for how these moves will be achieved.”
The change in role was announced in a statement last week by Dr Liam Fox, Secretary of State for Defence, which revealed Waterbeach Barracks, north of Cambridge, would close by 2015.