The closure of the RAF base, Leuchars, is expected to have a “devastating impact” on jobs, businesses and even local schools in North Fife.
Whether RAF Leuchars – one of three Scottish bases under threat due to defence cuts – will be closed or not is due to be announced after the Scottish elections on May 5th.
Aside from the obvious defence benefits, the economic consequences of the base’s closure are the biggest fear.
A report commissioned by local council shows that 1,260 people are currently employed there. A further 640 jobs are supported indirectly by the base, which has been operational for more than 70 years.
The findings show that the base contributed to about £60m of the economy in Fife, where unemployment rates are worse than the average for the rest of Scotland.
The report further showed that there was a 25% drop in jobs in Leuchars between 2001 and 2008.
Finally, the report concluded that the Tory LiB Dem coalition plans for the forthcoming public sector cuts would badly hit the town, which only has a small population of just under 3,800.