Ministry of Defence to sell RAF base in North Yorkshire

A military base near York where 300 personnel work is to close and the land sold off.

The MOD made the announcement about the future of RAF Linton-on-Ouse today.

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They also confirmed the closure of RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, home of the Red Arrows display team.

Linton on Ouse is located just off the A19, between York and Easingwold, and is where Prince William trained as a pilot.

The site is currently a flight training school and will be vacated by 2020. Basic fast jet training will be transferred to RAF Valley in Anglesey.

The airfield opened in 1937 as a bomber base, and squadrons would conduct raids on Nazi Germany and occupied Norway and Italy. It became a training base in 1957, training pilots for both the RAF and the Royal Navy. The base operates two satellite stations, Dishforth and Topcliffe.

The MOD will dispose of the site after personnel have left in 2020.

Back in 2008, a partygoer snapped a photo of Prince William enjoying an evening out at a York nightclub with fellow trainee pilots during his spell at the base.

Thirsk and Malton MP, Kevin Hollinrake, says he is 'saddened' by today’s announcement. Mr Hollinrake said he has been aware of the threat for some time and has held a number of meetings with the Defence Secretary, ministers and senior defence staff to try to prevent closure.

"The base has over 80 years of proud history, not least during World War Two when its planes, pilots and aircrew took off for highly-dangerous long-distance bombing raids on Germany, Norway and other Axis military bases in Europe.

“My thoughts are with the many staff and their families who have been based there over the last eight decades, and particularly the 300 service personnel and their families who work there today. I am working closely with Hambleton District Council to make the best of the opportunities ahead”.