Increase in army troops to aid Swindon's economy
9:40am Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
PLANS to increase the number of troops based in Wiltshire will have a positive impact on Swindon.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced on Tuesday that about 70 per cent of the Army will be brought back to the UK from Germany by the end of 2015, with the final 4,300 back by the end of 2019.
The change will result in Salisbury Plain having the largest number of troops, 15,000, in the UK by 2020 and the Ministry of Defence will spent about £850 million to develop Army bases in Wiltshire.
Swindon South MP Robert Buckland said he was looking forward to welcoming the new arrivals to the county and said that it would provide a number of benefits to the town.
“We are a county that is extremely welcoming and includes many members of the armed forces,” he said.
“I am looking forward to welcoming members of the armed forces and their families to our area.
“We have a lot of people living in Swindon that are not only serving in the armed forces but have retired from the armed forces.
“I think there are many benefits to having the armed forces here, there will be more people looking to shop in Swindon as one of the biggest towns in the area and also people looking to settle here.
“It is good news for the members of the armed forces and their families to have some stability and I hope we make them welcome.”
Councillor Jane Scott, leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “This is excellent news for the whole of Wiltshire.
“I’ve always said we’re very proud to be a military county and this announcement which will see more than 4,000 extra military personnel based here will build on this status.
“This news will lead to more families putting down firm roots in our communities and I, on behalf of this council, welcome them to Wiltshire.
“The military is growing significantly in this county and we will continue to work closely with our military partners to make sure the right services and infrastructure are in place to support this growth.”
The relocation from Germany will also result in a restructuring of the basing for regular Army forces.
Larkhill will continue as the spiritual home of the Royal Regiment of Artillery with four new artillery units and Tidworth will become the home of The Queens’ Royal Hussars (The Queen’s Own and Royal Irish) moving from Germany after 2017.
Tidworth will also house 3 Close Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers by 2020.