In a series of written answers to Parliamentary Questions tabled by Michael Fabricant, he has been assured that there are no immediate plans to close the Whittington Barracks. There has been some question as to its future as the Government is reviewing the Army Training Regiment. As well as Lichfield, it currently has bases at Ballymena in Northern Ireland, Glencorse in Scotland, and Winchester, Pirbright, Bassingbourn and Upavon in England. The Ministry of Defence has said it would like to slash at least two of these bases.
Although no decision has yet been made, Michael has been told by John Spellar, Minister for the Armed Forces that there are currently a number of reviews underway affecting the possible future of the Whittington Barracks including whether the Army Training Regiment will remain there and whether Whittington will be designated as a "core location" for future Defence activities.
"The long term future of the Barracks at Whittington is of paramount importance to the Army, Lichfield’s economy, and the Staffordshire Regimental Museum." says Michael Fabricant. "I am very keen to see Whittington designated by the MOD as a ‘core location’ as this will strengthen the long term future of the Barracks.
"I understand that the Government is keen to see MOD bases moved away from the south and for so-called ‘core locations’ throughout the rest of the country to be used and kept in the long term by the MOD. I will continue to press the Government until Whittington is chosen as a core site. Once this has happened, Whittington will continue to be used by the Armed Forces regardless of whether the Army Training Regiment stays there or not. I personally hope that the ATR will be told to stay in Whittington by the MOD and not be one of the locations to be chopped." The ATR has established close ties with our City and was recently given Freedom of the City of Lichfield.