Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's a Bad Business

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It's a Bad Business

Article excerpt

Business in Alnwick would suffer a severe blow with the loss of nearby RAF Boulmer in Northumberland, locals warned.

In the town yesterday, local business leaders and shopkeepers backed The Journal's Keep Boulmer Flying petition, which will be sent to the top brass at the Ministry of Defence.

RAF Boulmer, on the coast near Alnwick, is currently home to more than 700 servicemen and women, and provides work for more than 200 civilian staff, bringing an estimated pounds 4m into the local economy.

But it is now part of a high-level review of four key bases across the UK, which could see one or more wholly or partly dismantled.

Independent financial adviser John Wilson, of Alnwick Financial Management, gladly added his name to the petition yesterday, saying the loss of RAF Boulmer would be a huge blow to the area.

Mr Wilson, 42, said: "We do a lot of business with RAF personnel and families and it would be a disaster for the whole of North Northumberland if we were to lose the camp.

"Everyone would feel the impact, not just businesses like ours but shops and restaurants too.

"We would fully support the calls to Keep Boulmer Flying."

At Alnwick Post Office, Alan Newton said the contribution of Boulmer and its servicemen and women to the community was invaluable.

"We'll be pleased to have The Journal's petition forms here at Alnwick Post Office for as many people as possible to sign," he said.

"It's very important that Boulmer is kept at full strength.

"This camp brings benefits right across North Northumberland, from here in Alnwick to the villages up the coast at Beadnell and Seahouses."

Cafe owner Pauline Austin, who runs the Beadnell Village Pantry, agreed.

"We get a lot of trade from the camp, being on the main route up the coast from the camp," she said.

"I know that a lot of businesses in this area are very welcoming of the support that the RAF men and women give them. …

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