England

MP calls for Red Arrows to move to RAF Leeming

Red Arrows
Image caption The Red Arrows are currently based at RAF Scampton, which is being sold off by the Ministry of Defence (MoD)

An MP has called for The Red Arrows display team to be moved to North Yorkshire.

The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team is currently stationed at RAF Scampton, near Lincoln, but the base is being sold by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Richmond MP Rishi Sunak said he had asked the Defence Secretary to consider RAF Leeming as the new base, adding it would be an "ideal fit".

The MoD said: "No decisions on their future home have yet been made."

In his letter to Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, Mr Sunak said RAF Leeming had "significant advantages over its rivals" as the 100 Squadron - which flies Hawk T1 fast jets, the same aircraft used by the Red Arrows - was stationed at the base.

"The North Yorkshire base has the capacity to accommodate the team, having benefited from substantial investment in the past when it was home to two squadrons of Tornado fighter bombers," Mr Williamson said.

Image copyright MOD
Image caption The MoD said work was underway to find the Red Arrows "a new home that is fit for purpose"

He said local roads and highways in the area had been improved with a recent £400m upgrade of the A1 and the completed Aiskew-Bedale-Leeming bypass.

"North Yorkshire has a rich heritage of hosting the Royal Air Force dating back to the Second World War when Bomber Command had many bases in the area."

His calls have been supported by Mayor of Northallerton John Forrest and Mayor of Bedale Andrew Hallett.

"Having the Red Arrows based here would be very good for the area," said Mr Forest.

"The town has longstanding links with the RAF and we would be immensely proud to have the Red Arrows based here."

In a statement, the MoD added: "RAF Scampton is the current home of the Red Arrows and work is underway to find them a new home that is fit for purpose."

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