Military historians within Fulwood Barracks have been reacting to the decision to keep the site operating for longer than planned.Advertisement
The Ministry of Defence confirmed during Thursday (28 February) that the Barracks in Watling Street Road would continue until 2027.
A closure date of 2022 had been set during an announcement by the government in November 2016.
But defence secretary Gavin Williamson said Fulwood, along with a number of other military bases, would eventually close but those closure dates had been put back.
He said: “The defence estate is the rock around which our Armed Forces revolve and it is vital we bring it into the 21st Century. We have already committed £4 billion to optimise our military sites and today’s update will ensure our estate continues to fulfil our needs and support our people for the next five years.
“By providing further clarity on the future of key sites, not only will we protect our national security and support military objectives, but we will provide more stable employment and education opportunities for military families.”
The Lancashire Infantry Museum is within the Barracks complex.
A statement from Roger Goodwin on behalf of the Friends of the Lancashire Infantry Museum said: “The decision to postpone the disposal of Fulwood Barracks until 2027 is good news indeed and very welcome.
“It means that the Museum can remain in its traditional home at least until within two years of the Centenary of the opening of the Loyal North Lancashire Regimental Museum in Fulwood Barracks in 1929.
“It also means that we have a further five years in which to ensure that the Museum will continue, and we will be doing everything in our power to make sure that this happens. It remains our hope that, if possible, this will still be in Fulwood Barracks, in whatever future form that might be.
“We are grateful to everyone who has supported our campaign to ensure that the 16 Grade II listed buildings which comprise Fulwood Barracks – the biggest concentration of listed buildings in Lancashire; and the finest example of mid-Victorian military architecture left in Britain – are preserved.
“This decision, though very welcome, is a postponement, not a reprieve. Please help us to keep up the fight.”
Read more: Fulwood Barracks from the beginning, a short history
A petition was launched at the time the closure was announced and attracted thousands of signatures.
What do you think of the closure delay for Fulwood Barracks? Let us know in the comments below