Guns fall silent in battle for city's historic barracks

The big guns have fallen silent in the battle to save Fulwood Army Barracks from closure.
Fulwood BarracksFulwood Barracks
Fulwood Barracks

And that is bad news for the supporters of the North West’s finest regimental museum.

“It’s gone awfully quiet,” said Roger Goodwin from the Friends of the Lancashire Infantry Museum. “Since the initial announcement from the Ministry of Defence we haven’t heard a dicky bird.

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“It makes life terribly difficult for us because we depend largely on various grants, like the Heritage Lottery Fund. How can we possibly expect people to give us grants when our future is so uncertain?”

The MoD included Fulwood Barracks in a list of 56 armed forces sites it plans to close by 2022, sparking uproar in Lancashire where it is the Army’s HQ in the North West.

Four local MPs have pledged to put pressure on ministers for a change of heart and a petition demanding the barracks stay open has gathered almost 3,800 signatures.

“We really do believe it is a crazy decision,” said Roger Goodwin. “Clearly they haven’t thought through the proposals. The MoD announcement only made reference to three organisations within the barracks. But they don’t seem to be aware of the very large number of other smaller units based here.

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“There are hundreds of people based here, probably up to 100 of them civilian jobs. But above all that, Fulwood is the traditional home of the Army in the North West. The fight will go on because we don’t feel the decision to close is right.”

The barracks was built between 1842 and 1848. It comprises 16 Grade II Listed buildings, including the museum, which is only a tenant.

The MoD has announced an 18-month period of consultation before the plan is put into action.

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