Scottish Secretary questions Kinloss closure fears

David Mundell questions why fears were ever expressed over Kinloss Barracks.
David Mundell questions why fears were ever expressed over Kinloss Barracks.

THE SCOTTISH SECRETARY has given the clearest indication yet that the Army’s position at Kinloss Barracks is not under threat – and never was.

David Mundell MP was commenting after being quizzed on the future of Fort George – admitting that the historic base was a clear candidate for change as there were well-known issues and concerns over its age and suitability as a base for modern military needs.

“The issues in relation to Fort George as a facility where servicemen are based are well known in terms of its age, its condition and the overall nature of facilities there,” Mr Mundell said.

Crucially for those concerned about the future of Kinloss barracks he added: “Kinloss on the other hand is a relatively new Army facility.

“I do not see what basis there was for the speculation that it was going to be closed or reduced.”

While the Ministry of Defence continue to say only that no decisions have been taken over the future of the Scottish bases, Mr Mundell’s words will come as a great relief for those who remain persuaded that Kinloss was being sized up for closure.

This week insideMoray learned that senior military officers had also indicated that there was no threat to Kinloss, which was handed over to 39 Engineer Regiment following the withdrawal of the RAF in the wake of the scrapping of the Nimrod replacement programme.

Sale of land by the MoD at Kinloss would meet with several issues including the land not being required for Moray’s housing needs, historical contamination of the land through disposal of military hardware and the ongoing requirements to provide backup facilities for the expanding RAF Lossiemouth.

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