Battalion to leave Leuchars for Yorkshire under MoD plans

© DC Thomson
Leuchars Station.

Hundreds of armed forces personnel will leave Leuchars under plans unveiled by the UK Government.

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed the  Close Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) will be merged with 27 Regiment Royal Logistics Corps and become part of one of the new Strike Brigades in 2021.

They will operate remotely from their brigade, based in North Yorkshire.

An MoD spokesman said: “The plan is to rebase it in Catterick from 2030, merging with 27 Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps as part of a Strike Brigade.

“The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and 110 Provost Company Royal Military Police will remain in Leuchars.”

Keith Brown, Scotland’s veterans minister, has asked for an urgent meeting with the MoD following the announcement, which is part of the 2015 Strategic Security and Defence Review.

He said that such moves would be disruptive for personnel and their families, and demanded clarity on the implications for these servicemen and women, as well as the impact on communities in Fife and wider Scotland.

Mr Brown added: “There is…unsettling news on the future of two Edinburgh-based Reserves units (HQ 106 Battalion REME and Edinburgh Field Squadron) which will be amalgamated with 102 Battalion in Grangemouth, Fife.

“The longer term location of 2 Close Support Battalion REME, with a large number of personnel based at Leuchars, is also a concern.”

But Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader and North East Fife MSP, called for positive steps to be taken to beef up the base, which Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon has indicated will be in line for good news in the new year.

Mr Rennie said: “Whilst the SNP will always hunt for bad news it is important we hunt for the opportunities for Leuchars.

“Despite this news, the MOD has been clear that Leuchars has a big role to play as an army hub in Scotland following the successful transition of the army to the station.

“We will hold the UK Government to that promise. We should be exploring how we make that happen including turning Leuchars into the HQ for the Black Watch and a Scottish HQ for the wider army.

“I will be meeting with the UK Defence Minister Mark Lancaster in the new year to discuss the opportunities.”