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Missile range's future secured for decade in £1bn MoD deal

The Hebrides Range is the largest private-sector employer on South Uist in the Western Isles.

Hebrides Range: Future of missile testing ground secured (file pic).
Hebrides Range: Future of missile testing ground secured (file pic). QinetiQ

The future of a Western Isles missile range has been secured for the next decade.

The Hebrides Range is the largest private-sector employer on South Uist, supporting more than 100 jobs.

It has repeatedly been threatened with closure but a new £1bn contract between the Ministry of Defence and operator QinetiQ means the range is safe until at least 2028.

A £180m investment package split between the Hebrides Range and two other sites in England and Wales will be used to upgrade facilities on South Uist and nearby islands.

Western Isles SNP MP Angus MacNeil said: "The Hebrides Range is an important employer and today's announcement from QinetiQ is very good news for the economy in Uist.

"I am delighted for the workforce and I do hope that this announcement will bring stability for many years to the Hebrides Range."

The Hebrides Range is largest missile testing facility in Britain. Last year, a US warship destroyed a missile fired into space from South Uist during war games in a UK first.

The range was saved from closure in a previous round of defence cuts in 2009, safeguarding more than 125 jobs.

UK minister for defence procurement, Harriett Baldwin, said: "This new deal will ensure our armed forces get world-class training and testing facilities and services while making substantial efficiencies, ensuring excellent value for money for the taxpayer."

http://stv.tv/news/highlands-islands/1331263-us-warship-destroys-missile-shot-into-space-during-navy-war-games/ | default

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