Yorkshire RAF base shortlisted as potential new home for Red Arrows

RAF Leeming is one of three sites being considered as the new home of the Red Arrows, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced.

Conservative MP for Richmond, Rishi Sunak, has received a letter from Tobias Ellwood, Minister for Defence People and Veterans, informing him that RAF Leeming is one of three shortlisted sites.

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The other sites under consideration are RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire and RAF Wittering in Cambridgeshire.

The Red Arrows display for Whitby Regatta weekend, in 2007The Red Arrows display for Whitby Regatta weekend, in 2007
The Red Arrows display for Whitby Regatta weekend, in 2007

The MoD announced in July 2018 that RAF Scampton, the current home of the display team, will close in 2022 as part of a plan to sell off around a third of the MoD's assets and save nearly £3billion of savings by 2040.

Mr Sunak launched a campaign to bring the world famous Red Arrows to Yorkshire in November 2018.

In this campaign he said that RAF Leeming has several advantages, including the presence of the 100 Squadron flying Hawk T1 fast jets on the base - the same aircraft used by the display team.

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RAF Leeming also has the capacity to accommodate the team having benefited from “substantial investment” in the past when it was home to two squadrons of Tornado fighter bombers.

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Of the news that the base has been shortlisted, Mr Sunak said he welcomed the decision and that he will be maintaining pressure to ensure that Leeming is the final choice.

A spokesman for the MP said: "Rishi will continue to make the case that the Red Arrows should come to Yorkshire.

"He still believes that Leeming is the right spot."

The MoD will now conduct detailed studies of each of the three sites