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  1. ITV Report

Barracks closure will be a 'devastating blow' for Pembrokeshire

14th Signal Regiment were awarded the freedom of Haverfordwest in 2009 Photo: ITV News Wales

There are concerns that plans to pull out hundreds of military personnel and close a base in west Wales will have a 'devastating affect' on Pembrokeshire. People living in the area were speaking following the decision to close the Cawdor Barracks in Brawdy and move 14th Signal Regiment to St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Christopher Jenkins who runs a local pub in nearby Haverfordwest says that today's news is "devastating for everyone" and another "nail in the coffin" for the local economy.

He said that it will hit every business going and said the army moving would have "knock on affect on everyone."

As part of the transfer of the 14th Signals Regiment, the 600 military personell based there will move to the vale of Glamorgan sometime after 2018.

The leader of Pembrokeshire County Council has described the news as "terrible blow" for the county.

Cllr Jamie Adams said that the area could "ill afford to lose them and the money they spend which helps boost the local economy."

Today’s announcement also severs the historic link between this part of Pembrokeshire and the military which stretches back nearly 70 years.

Indeed during this time the base has been used by all three arms of the military – Army, Navy and Air Force.

We will be pressing the Government to help us look for alternative uses for the site.

– Cllr Jamie Adams, Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council

The decision to relocate the Signals will see £100 million invested in the former RAF base in St Athan.

Alun Cairns, the local MP, welcomed the news saying that will would "guarantee MoD funds in the area with increased spend from soldiers through to contracts for local builders for structural projects on site."

He said that without the move "St Athan could have been closed for development purposes" but that it will now become "one of the UK’s key military bases."

I am delighted that St Athan has been so successful in this Base Review. Winning the Royal Signals is a coup for St Athan. They are experts in electronic warfare, which along with the presence of Special Forces at the base puts St Athan at the cutting edge of the changes to modern conflict.

The decision, of course has been made on what is right for the forces.

This is a major boost for the community and wider economy. It secures the future of the site, for decades to come. It has been a long campaign and the support from the community has been key.

– ALUN CAIRNS MP, VALE OF GLAMORGAN

Today's announcement by the Defence Secretary also sees troops currently based in Germany being returned to the UK by 2020. The Queens Dragoon Guards who will relocate from Senneleger in Germany to Swanton Mirley in Norfolk. 1st Batallion Welsh Guards will also move from Hounslow Barracks to Pirbright in Surrey.

The reorganisation of the aims to save £240 million a year and will see 11,000 troops in total returning from bases in Europe to the UK.