Expect the unexpected – that’s what they say. With a three year development plan about to be proposed by the Kirknewton Development Trust it seems we will not only have to consider the potential renewable project and rail/road developments but the building of a new army base too!
When researching the history of the village you cannot escape the time when RAF Kirknewton housed the American airforce between 1952 and 1966. You cannot escape what happened to the village when they left. There is a feeling that community spirit is returning to the village, not because of a campaign, an outside influence or an industry but because of the people who chose to live here, many of whom want to be part of improving where they live and would like to see the facilities to support that change – with or without an army base on the doorstep!
The Kirknewton facebook group has gone crazy on the Ministry of Defence news announcement and this morning West Lothian Council announced a statement about the latest chapter of Kirknewton history…
The Council welcomes plans for new barracks
West Lothian Council has warmly welcomed the news that new barracks will be built at Kirknewton by 2016/17.
Leader of West Lothian Council Peter Johnston commented: “We warmly welcome the announcement that a new military base is to be located in West Lothian.
“We are confident that this development will be extremely positive for our area in terms of investment, employment and infrastructure. “While we have only just heard we look forward to working closely with the Ministry of Defence and the Scottish Government in the future concerning the proposals and to ensure that the best interests of the locally community are fully considered.”
West Lothian’s Veterans Champion Carl John added: “While the news that Craigiehall, Dreghorn, and Redford Barracks are to close will be sad for some, there is no doubt that new barracks at Kirknewton is positive for West Lothian.
“It is widely acknowledged that investment by the Ministry of Defence in an area brings economic benefits to the local community. We would hope that the development would help to sustain existing businesses and hopefully encourage more investment into the area.
“West Lothian has close connections to the armed forces and recently bestowed the Freedom of West Lothian on the Royal Regiment of Scotland.”