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Future of mid Norfolk barracks secured, but Light Dragoons will leave Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 14:43 05 March 2013 | UPDATED: 15:15 05 March 2013

The medal ceremony at Robertson Barracks at Swanton Morley, the home of the Light Dragoons. Picture: Army

The medal ceremony at Robertson Barracks at Swanton Morley, the home of the Light Dragoons. Picture: Army

Archant

The army will continue to have a major presence in mid Norfolk after the Government announced Swanton Morley, together with Colchester, will be one of seven core bases across the country it would invest in.

Floral tributes at the Robertson Barracks in Swanton Morley to Light Dragoon killed in Afghanistan. Picture: Ian Burt
Floral tributes at the Robertson Barracks in Swanton Morley to Light Dragoon killed in Afghanistan. Picture: Ian Burt

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond announced the investment in the Robertson Barracks in Swanton Morley, near Dereham, in the House of Commons this afternoon.

The news was contained in the regular army basing plan, which sets out where the army will be based when troops return from Germany.

Mid Norfolk MP George Freeman tweeted: “Great news: Defense Secrty announces Swanton Morley barracks will be one of 7 UK Core Bases on which investment will be focussed.”

However, the Light Dragoons will leave the Robertson Barracks in 2015, and will be replaced by 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, who are returning from Germany.

Crowds packed Dereham Market Place to welcome home The Light Dragoons. Picture: Ian BurtCrowds packed Dereham Market Place to welcome home The Light Dragoons. Picture: Ian Burt

The Light Dragoons, who are known as England’s Northern Cavalry, will move to Catterick in Richmond, Yorkshire.

The regiment last year served its third tour of duty in Afghanistan, and were awarded the freedom of Dereham at a welcome home parade in December.

Last month Swanton Morley parish council chairman Roger Atterwill raised concerns about the future of the barracks.

He said it is a vital part of the local community, with nearly half of pupils at Swanton Morley Primary School having a parent in the regiment, and supporting community facilities such as doctors and shops.

See tomorrow’s EDP for more.

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