People of Lincolnshire ‘need to make the case’ for the Red Arrows to stay says senior county councillor

editorial image

The people of Lincolnshire need to “make the case” for the Red Arrows to be based at RAF Waddington, a senior county councillor has said.

Councillor Colin Davie, executive member for economy and place at Lincolnshire County Council, said he does not want to lose the Red Arrows and added he would do “everything he can” to lobby for them to stay in the county.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) revealed earlier this week that RAF Waddington is on the shortlist of sites where the team could be relocated following the closure of RAF Scampton in 2022.

Alongside Waddington, RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire and RAF Wittering near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, are the two other possible locations.

Councillor Davie said local people need to “make the argument” for the Red Arrows to remain in the region.

“It is now down to the people of Lincolnshire to make the case for Waddington and for keeping the Red Arrows here,” he said.

“I want to see them stay in Lincolnshire and I will do everything I can to make that argument.

“Ultimately, the decision is not ours but if we make that case and make a good argument then hopefully we will get the right decision.”

RAF Waddington is one of the RAF’s busiest stations as the hub of UK Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) and the main operating base for airborne intelligence aircraft and systems like the E-3D Sentry AEW1, as well as the control centre for Reaper drones in Afghanistan.

Approximately 3,500 Service personnel, civil servants and contractors work at RAF Waddington.

The news follows the decision by the government to close RAF Scampton by 2022.

The MOD confirmed the closure of the base last year, throwing the future of the site and the Red Arrows into doubt.

County council and West Lindsey District Council officials have since been in discussions over possible use of the site and secured £150,000 worth of funding in January to help draw up plans.

Calvin Robinson , Local Democracy Reporting Service