UK Independence Party (UKIP) Down District representative Alan Lewis has welcomed the MOD commitment that Ballykinler Army Barracks is to retain its capacity as a training centre for the foreseeable future. The commitment came in the form of a reply to a letter Mr Lewis had sent the Secretary of State with reference to the redeployment of the 2 Rifles to Thiepval Barracks.
Mr Lewis said: “I welcome the MOD’s commitment to retaining a training centre at Ballykinler, in achieving this commitment it is my hope this latest commitment has strengthened already established jobs at the base. But there will still be a major impact on local schools and local businesses with the loss of approximately 500 army personal and their families to the wider South Down area.
“I trust this commitment will be welcomed by all political persuasions across Down District and we can put behind us the talk of stripping the Ballykinler barracks of land. UKIP hopes the MOD will continue to be a major local employer and that the MOD will recognise the significant impact the loss of the 2 Rifles regiment will have on South Down and reinstate another resident battalion.”