RAF

Campaigners Hope To Turn RAF Scampton Into Heritage Site After Closure

RAF Scampton has been the home of the Red Arrows since 2000 and was the home of the famous 'Dambusters' during the Second World War.

A group of campaigners are hoping to turn RAF Scampton - where the famous 'Dambusters' squadron launched its raids from during the Second World War - into a heritage site after its closure.

More than 600 people continue to work at the Lincolnshire base, which is also the home of the Red Arrows

The base, among a list of others, is to be closed and sold off by the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in late 2022 as part of cost-cutting measures to save £3 billion by 2040. 

A local campaign group, called 'Save Scampton', is hoping to keep the history of the base running as a charitable trust and is now drawing up a list of proposals to show the MOD.

Annette Edgar, the campaign founder, told Forces News: "Over a period of time, we would restore everything that’s there, in its format as it stands now, because that way it will become a museum - but it would become a working museum because we would like to keep the runway there."

"It's our history and once it's gone, it's gone - you can never bring it back," she added.

Ms Edgar said the group would like to add a "few additional facilities", which could include a veterans' village, a control tower with a viewing platform for the public and potentially a hotel for visitors.

Leader of the Dambusters Raid, Wing Commander Guy Gibson (centre), boards his aircraft with his crew for the mission on the German dams in 1943 (Picture: MOD).

RAF Scampton was the home of 617 Squadron during World War Two.

The squadron became known as the 'Dambusters' after the famous raids in the Ruhr Valley in 1943, destroying German dams with bouncing bombs.

The daring mission was later turned into a film in the 1950s. 

The Red Arrows, which continue to operate from the base, are to relocate to nearby RAF Waddington once the base closes.

In a statement, an MOD spokesperson said the department recognises RAF Scampton as "a site of historical significance".

The spokesperson added the MOD "will look at options to provide a sustainable solution for preserving the story" of the base after its closure.