Highlands & Islands

Doubts remain over Army use of Fort George at Ardersier

Fort George Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Fort George was constructed in the 18th Century

Doubts remain over the Army's future use of a 250-year-old former artillery fort in the Highlands.

The SNP has concerns that Fort George at Ardersier, near Inverness, is to stop functioning as a barracks as part of Ministry of Defence reforms.

In a letter to SNP MP Drew Hendry, Scottish Secretary David Mundell said he could not confirm at this stage the military's future use of the barracks.

SNP MSP Fergus Ewing said the letter added to the uncertainty over the fort.

Soldiers of the Black Watch (3 SCOTS) are currently based at Fort George. Mr Mundell said in his letter that the future of the battalion was not under threat.

Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The fort continues to operate as a barracks

On the fort itself, he wrote: "The Ministry of Defence's rationalisation strategy will examine the entire Defence Estate across the whole of the UK, with the aim of providing a smaller but more efficient and more sustainable estate.

"Savings made in this way will be used to improve military capability.

"To this end, a number of announcements of disposal have already been made.

"It is likely that some sites in Scotland will be released for disposal as part of the wider plan which is due to report later this year, but I am unable to confirm whether Fort George will be included as part of this until the report is complete."

Mr Ewing said Fort George should remain as a working barracks.

He told BBC radio's Good Morning Scotland programme: "As constituency MSP for Fort George I believe it should continue as is and house the Black Watch.

"The proposal from the UK government that there will be further reductions to conventional defence are, I think, quite shocking. There only seems to be funding for Trident."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites