Defence Secretary urged to reconsider ‘misguided’ Fulwood Barracks closure

Posted on - 30th January, 2017 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Fulwood, Garrison, Politics, Preston Council, Preston News
Marching band at Fulwood Barracks Pic: Tony Worrall
Marching band at Fulwood Barracks Pic: Tony Worrall

Councillors have been asked to urge the Defence Secretary to re-consider the proposal to close Fulwood Barracks.

Branded as ‘ill-conceived, misguided and not in the military, local or national interest’ a motion from Garrison ward councillor Charlotte Leach urges action by Preston City Council.

In November the Barracks, along with more than 50 sites UK-wide, were earmarked for closure.

The grade-II listed buildings have been stationed in the city for nearly 150 year and also houses the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and the Lancashire Infantry Museum.

Nearly 4,000 Prestonians have signed a petition calling for the decision to close the Barracks to be overturned.

Cllr Leach’s motion to a full meeting of Preston Council also outlines the historical importance of the Barracks.

Re-opening ceremony of the Lancashire Infantry Museum

She writes: “In Lancashire, the Barracks is a major focal point for military veterans, in particular the Regimental Associations and the Preston & District Ex-Services Council, which represents some 5,000 veterans in the area. Withdrawal of support to such organisations would appear inconsistent with the Military Covenant.

“In addition, Fulwood Barracks not only showcases the best of community action but presents the Army to the public in the best possible way with the Lancashire Infantry Museum attracting around 50 volunteers and thousands of visitors annually.

“The Museum holds the collections of five of Lancashire’s county infantry regiments, their lineal successors up to the present day, and six predecessor regiments of foot. The galleries tell a story spanning every inhabited continent from 1689 to the present day. The Museum has been in Fulwood Barracks since 1929 and holds one of the Nation’s largest infantry collections, and by far the largest in the North of England. ”

Cllr Leach said: “Fulwood Barracks is an historic part of Preston close to the heart of all Prestonians which is why I am hopeful that the motion will be supported by all political parties and that going forward we can all work together in an attempt to save it for future generations.”

Read more: A history of Fulwood Barracks from beginning to end

Councillors are asked to vote for approval to write to the Secretary of State for Defence Michael Fallon to urge him to reconsider and also ensure any decision has full consultation with the city council.

Preston City Council meets on Thursday 2 February from 2pm to discuss the motion.

What do you think of the call for action on Fulwood Barracks? Let us know in the comments below

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