£160 million contract awarded to help RAF Lakenheath become home to two USAF F-35 squadrons
A contract worth £160m to support bringing the F-35 fighter aircraft to RAF Lakenheath has been welcomed by councillors who believe it will bring around £1bn of investment and opportunities to the district over the next five years.
The Defence Infrastructure Organisation has awarded a contract worth £160m to Kier VolkerFitzpatrick to deliver infrastructure to ready RAF Lakenheath for two squadrons of US F-35s including the construction of a flight simulator facility, a maintenance unit, new hangars and storage facilities.
Cllr James Waters, Leader of Forest Heath District Council said: “I was pleased to be part of the ceremony to mark the start of the contract that will bring the F35 to Lakenheath.
“This is a £160 million contract in our area bringing jobs and more than £1billion of investment and opportunities over the next five years.
“We work very closely with the MOD and USAF and the serving personnel are part of our communities. The council will continue not only to help with the F35 programme, but support local businesses being involved and welcome the new personnel to West Suffolk.”
At the height of construction, it is expected that there will be up to 700 contractors on site.
The investment will also provide wider benefits to the local economy with over 1,000 personnel and family members living at the base.
Last week the MoD announced more than a thousand USAF personnel and their dependants will move from Suffolk to Gloucestershire in 2023 as that base prepares for closure.