Skip to main content

RAF Marham

Volume 518: debated on Monday 8 November 2010

It will now take some time to work out the implications of the strategic defence and security review for defence basing, as the Secretary of State made clear a few moments ago. The work is now under way, and we will fully consult all the relevant agencies and the local communities that have given so much support to our armed forces over the years.

Has the Minister made an estimate of the cost of relocating engineering and maintenance facilities from RAF Marham? It is estimated at up to £50 million, and those facilities are a third more effective and efficient than their US counterparts. Will he also take into account the relative rate of unemployment, which is 7.4% in west Norfolk compared with 4.8% in Moray in Scotland?

My hon. Friend is referring to the Tornado depth maintenance facility, which includes centralised RAF and industry component repair facilities alongside the aircraft maintenance facility at Marham. It is unlikely that any decisions on Tornado basing will be taken before next spring at the earliest, but all relevant costs, including those arising from any necessary relocations, will be given full consideration prior to any decision being taken.