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Monthly News Bulletin
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Back to 2002 News Archive

Community Counter MoD Plans

PLANS to counter the impact of the Ministry of Defence decision to cease using the range and airfield at West Freugh on a full-time operational basis gathered pace last week.

A delegation from public-sector organisations in mid-Wales faced with a similar situation four years ago visited Stranraer to outline the blueprint they used to deal with resultant job losses.

The West Freugh Steering Group (WFSG) heard how closure of the MoD range and airfield at Aberporth, north-east of the market town of Caridgan also operated by QinetiQ sparked an ambitious action plan for the economic regeneration of the area.

"The presentation was a superb example of how a rural community can fight back against such a serious economic setback," said Colin Williamson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise Dumfries and Galloway.

"The circumstances were remarkably similar in many regards to our own at West Freugh and the steering group is keen to draw on the invaluable experience of the various partner organisations involved at Aberporth as we finalise our own action plan".

West Freugh Steering Group comprises representatives of Dumfries and Galloway Council; SE Dumfries and Galloway; the MoD Scottish Executive; and the Small Towns Initiative, as well as the workforce and management of QinetiQ and local politicians.

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