Announcement on future of historic RAF base in Yorkshire expected 'shortly'

People who are waiting to find out what will happen to a historic airbase in North Yorkshire have been told an announcement will be made “shortly”.

Two RAF Tucanos taking off from Linton-on-Ouse in 2018

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is due to sell RAF Linton-on-Ouse near York, after it closed down the airbase last year.

After opening in 1937, it was used by squadrons conducting raids on Nazi Germany and occupied Norway and Italy during World War Two and then became a training base in 1957.

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But the Government announced in 2018 it would be sold off, along with the Red Arrows base at RAF Scampton and 89 other MOD owned sites, to save taxpayers around £140m.

Kevin Hollinrake, MP for Thirsk and Malton, has held a number of discussions with defence ministers and senior defence staff, urging them to explore other military options for the site.

After his campaign to save the RAF base failed, he asked Jeremy Quin, minister for defence procurement, for an update on its future this week.

Speaking in Parliament, he said: “As well as having played an important role in defence of the realm, it is a key part of the local economy, yet local residents are still unclear about its future and the MOD’s plans for its disposal.

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“Some months after a previous request for information, we are still at a loss.”

Mr Quin said: "There is no longer a military requirement for RAF Linton-on-Ouse.

“The timing of the site’s disposal is under active consideration. There will be an announcement and I will write to him as soon as it is made. I expect to do so shortly.”

Around 300 people worked at the airbase and a number of MOD tenants lived on site, before it was shut down.

It was used as the base of the Tucano training aircraft, before the aircraft was retired in 2019.