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Monthly News Bulletin

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West Freugh's Future Fears

WEST FREUGH'S future is again in doubt with the Ministry of Defence beginning a review that includes an option to close.

The fate of the historic testing range and airstrip and its 28 staff will be decided in April.

The UK-wide review of weapons testing ranges has four options for the base near Stranraer - one a status quo and the other three a cut from the current situation.

QinetiQ currently runs the range on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) as a range testing bombs and short-range surface-to-air weapons.

MoD spokeswoman Sara Reed insisted the review was routine and vital to see whether the facility was still needed. She said:

"This evaluation is important to ensure we operate effectively and efficiently.

"We realise that reviews can make people jittery and rumours start flying around, but it's the sensible way to conduct business - there is no point evaluating the contract once it's finished.

"QinetiQ staff have been fully briefed, and local councils, MPs, MSPs, Scottish Ministers and other relevant groups have been contacted."

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