Keeping Red Arrows in Lincolnshire is worth £1.5m a year, say tourism bosses
Industry bosses in Lincolnshire have welcomed a decision to keep the Red Arrows at RAF Scampton, saying they help bring £1.5 million to the county's economy.
This week it emerged the aerobatic display team would remain at the base, near Lincoln, until at least the end of the decade.
Now Mark Sturgess, director of regeneration and planning at West Lindsey District Council, said: "We are delighted to hear the Red Arrows will remain based in West Lindsey.
"The high profile specialist aerobatic display team are well known throughout the world and attract visitors to our area to catch a glimpse of the Reds. The Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire Project has been developed to promote the county's aviation heritage and improve the visitor offer, including ensuring all the museums and attractions are visitor friendly and accredited.
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"In 2011 these sites attracted 120,000 visitors, spending over £1.5m in the local economy.
"The popularity of the Red Arrows plays a large part in the development of aviation tourism in West Lindsey and Lincolnshire.
"We are proud they are based in our district and really delighted they will remain here for the foreseeable future."
Armed Forces Minister Nick Harvey told the House of Commons the jets would remain for the foreseeable future.
He said the Red Arrows at Scampton represented "the most effective way of operating ... without impacting on other flying". The runway at the base will be resurfaced as part of the decision.
Wynford Owen, 83, who has lived in Scampton for more than 50 years, is delighted the team is staying in the village. "The lure of the Red Arrows helps attract visitors into the village, which brings extra revenue.
"People are pleased to see them carrying on here.
"There has been a long standing relationship between the village and the RAF so it is great to see it continue – the Red Arrows at Scampton is a tradition.
"I am proud when I see them in the sky, and long may it continue."
Gainsborough MP Edward Leigh, who campaigned to keep the team at Scampton, was delighted at the news.
"This is a vindication of our long campaign and a credit to all those who have worked so hard," he said.
"The Red Arrows are a treasured part of Lincolnshire.
"The MoD's investment in RAF Scampton's runway demonstrates a welcome commitment to the future.
"I have always been clear on my desire to keep the Red Arrows flying out of the home of the Dambusters," he said.