Job fears surround Bassingbourn Barracks

JOB fears still surround Bassingbourn Barracks as the Ministry of Defence examine the site as part of a national base overhaul.

The former RAF station is currently home to the Army Training Regiment, but the last recruits will be passing through later this year.

And the base is said to be closing for a number of years while being redeveloped.

This has sparked concern from Bassingbourn’s Conservative South Cambs district councillor David McCraith, who is worried about the effect on civilians who work there.

He said: “I am very concerned about the possible loss of jobs for local people, because it’s an employer.

“I’m just very glad that it’s not going to be closed permanently, and hopefully there will be new jobs created when troops come to the base.

“I want to see it used as a barracks and employ as many local people as possible.”

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Nigel Cathcart, Labour district councillor for Bassingbourn, said: “The barracks have been part of the area for many years and jobs are currently an issue, and also the children who go to the school.

“There is considerable concern but we were always assured that there would be a significant army presence, albeit in a different form.

“Jobs are a significant issue. It’s a big employer in the village.”

It was revealed last year as part of the government defence review that the MoD would keep the barracks, and one army multi-role brigade would be based in the east of England, centred in Rutland.

At present the MoD is currently surveying the site to work out how the base can best suit its future needs.

“We are carrying out work to determine the potential capacity of the defence estate as we seek to maximise its use and rationalise where appropriate,” said an Mod spokesman.

“This work is being done alongside other studies currently being undertaken in the MoD to establish how the estate can be configured to best support current and future military requirements.

“We have started work on a capacity study at Bassingbourn as part of the wider Basing Review, the detail and implications of which are still being worked through.”

The Crow exclusively reported last year on claims made by an insider, alleging the barracks would be mothballed until 2016, and that all civilians at the base would lose their jobs.

The MoD was unable to provide The Crow with information on any potential civilian redundancies at the time of going to press, but added that the redevelopment could lead to more jobs.

A number of sports clubs and organisations also use the site, with Royston Hockey Club facing possible ground difficulties.