Barracks closure delay

Steve Brine has spoken out following news that the closure of Sir John Moore Barracks at Flowerdown is being pushed back to 2024.

The Winchester MP has long campaigned for a knowledge park bringing high-end jobs to the city, and has been close to the issue for many years.

After meeting with Defence Ministers in Parliament on Thursday 28th February, he said: “The Better Defence Estate strategy is a complex piece of work taking a long-term and strategic approach to enable future UK military capability.

“The site at SJMB doesn’t exist in a vacuum and the strategy requires all sites to move together so a delay is not unexpected or a huge problem.

“My strong preference remains an employment led development providing high quality new jobs for local people. We should use this extra time to get that in place.”

Local councillor Patrick Cunningham added: "From a local standpoint, this gives welcome clarity and reassurance to the many local people employed at the barracks.

"It also gives us a workable 5 year timeframe in which to work together to achieve a preferred high-end employment led mixed development for this crucial and high profile site on the outskirts of the city."