The Secretary of State for defence visited RMB Chivenor this morning (Friday)

No final decision has been made as to whether RMB Chivenor will close – that’s the message from Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon.

Mr Fallon was in North Devon this morning (Friday) visiting the base he said would close by 2027.

After receiving a presentation about the work carried out by the 24 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers and Commando Logistics Recruitment from RMB Chivenor, Mr Fallon met with members of North Devon Council and local stakeholders to discuss the impact of the closure on North Devon.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Fallon said: “There is no final decision.

Sir Michael Fallon said there were 'no final decisions' on the closure of Chivenor during a visit to the site today. Picture: Matt SmartSir Michael Fallon said there were 'no final decisions' on the closure of Chivenor during a visit to the site today. Picture: Matt Smart

“The overall intent is to close some of the smaller Royal Marine bases and cluster all the Royal Marine units together in the Plymouth Devonport area. That’s the overall intent.

“We now have to work through the detail and see exactly what it would cost to move the particular units, so that’s work that will now go on for the next year and a bit.

“We’ll know in a year or two what the final decision will be.

“They made it very clear to me the strength of the connection here between Chivenor and the local community and the importance of the decision for local businesses and the jobs that depend on it.

“So this, for Chivenor is of course a very big decision, but we’ve had an open discussion today and I’ve assured them that this is the start of the process – its not yet the end.”

North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones said he was ‘very pleased’ with Mr Fallon’s comments.

“Michael Fallon confirmed that although it is the intention to consolidate the Royal Marines’ operations in Plymouth, a final decision has not been made and a future military use for Chivenor hasn’t been ruled out. This is welcome news,” he said.

“There was also a very useful discussion about possible other future uses for the site.

“As I told the meeting, I don’t want anything imposed on North Devon; we must have our say.

“It’s important to explore the opportunities that any change may bring, and today’s visit was very much the start of that process.

“I will continue to push for what’s best for North Devon as this process moves forward.”