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York to become home to Army division’s HQ
YORK is to be the home of a permanent Army division under a major reorganisation of the UK’s national and international military bases, it has been announced.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond revealed in Parliament yesterday that Headquarters 1 (UK) Division will move from Herford in Germany to Fulford in York in 2015.
Ripon, however, is to lose its Army base when 21 Engineer Regiment moves from Claro Barracks to Catterick in 2017.
The £1.8 billion investment in new bases and accommodation will also see North East Brigade move its headquarters from Imphal Barracks in York to Catterick.
Mr Hammond said: “The local communities in each of these areas have been hugely supportive of the military presence over many years.
“The loss of historic ties will be much regretted and, on behalf of the Army, I want to thank all those communities for their generous hosting.”
York Central MP Hugh Bayley welcomed the news that York would be home to a permanent division, something he has campaigned for for many years.
He said: “York and North Yorkshire has done well out of the review and we have been selected as one of the main army centres in the UK.
“I expect we will have a small increase in the number of military personnel in York and an increase in the number of soldiers at Catterick as troops are brought home from Germany over the next few years.”
Brigadier Greville Bibby, Commander 15 (NE) Brigade, said: “I am saddened by the decision to move 21 Engineer Regiment out of Claro Barracks and I know there will be many people who will share my sentiment.
“We have enjoyed a long and proud association with the people of Ripon and the surrounding area.
“I am, however, delighted by the news that there will continue to be a very strong presence of regular forces in Yorkshire and the north-east, which will bring with it considerable investment for the benefit of the military as well as the communities to which we belong.”