St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham has been recommended for closure as part of the Government’s Defence Estate Rationalisation and Optimisation programme
The barracks, which is home to 1st Military Working Dogs and 2 Medical Regiment, is one of a number of Ministry of Defence sites that have been under review but it was announced yesterday in parliament that the base is now recommended for closure.
But it is unlikely to come into effect until 2020/21 at the earliest. A decision on where the two regiments based there will go has not yet been made but subject to assessment, 1st Military Working Dogs could be relocated to either Kendrew Barracks in Cottesmore or the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray. A report into the closures also says 2 Medical Regiment will be “rationalised in 2021 as part of improvements planned for deployed medical provision for Joint Force 2025”.
Rutland County Council leader Terry King (Con) said: “The closure of St George’s Barracks has been a possibility for some time and the council has been in an ongoing dialog with the MOD and Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO). We will continue to engage with the MOD and the DIO in the months ahead regarding the future of the site.
“In the meantime, both 1 Military Working Dogs and 2 Medical Regiment will continue to be based at St George’s and the council will continue to support them.
“Two additional squadrons from the 1 Military Working Dogs regiment will return from Germany in 2017 to St George’s Barracks. Plans for a permanent expansion of kennelling facilities at St George’s will not now proceed. Work will however proceed on a temporary increase in kennel capacity to facilitate the additional two squadrons.
“We remain committed to supporting armed forces personnel and their families living in Rutland – both those based at St George’s Barracks in North Luffenham and those at Kendrew Barracks in Cottesmore. We also welcome the identification of Kendrew as a Regional Centre as part of the review.”
In 2017 2 Royal Anglian (The Poachers) will leave Kendrew Barracks for Cyprus and be replaced by the Princess of Wales Regiment (The Tigers) returning from Cyprus. The council and other agencies continue to work with both Regiments to support this change over.