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Eastriggs Munitions Depot

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Eastriggs munitions depot was created in 1939, during World War II, using the land and buildings which had survived from the 1920s, when the site of HM Factory, Gretna was cleared after the conclusion of World War I.

Eastriggs is a small village in Dumfries and Galloway, southern Scotland, originally constructed (together with Gretna) during World War I as accommodation for the largest munitions factory in the world, HM Factory, Gretna, between 1916 and 1918. The village began as a collection of wooden huts, but was developed as a model village by the same architects responsible for Gretna, although the smaller village was never developed to the same extent as its larger neighbour. One interesting side effect of the village's origin is that many of the street names reflect to the home countries of the original residents.

Formerly a stand-alone facility with 63 Explosive Storehouses (ESH), Eastriggs was operated (2007) as part of the larger munitions depot, DSDA Longtown, some 7 miles to the east, which has 252 ESH. The smaller depot is used to hold munitions for all three armed services in support of routine training, major exercises, and operations at home and overseas. Both depots have the usual road access links, and direct rail access to the main west coast London to Glasgow railway line.

In August 2010, the MoD announced that it was to stop using the high security depot at Eastriggs to store ammunitions, but insisted that the move was only a short term cost cutting measure driven by budget reductions of up to 25%. The change means that staff and storage services at the sub depot have been gradually moved across the border, with some based at Longtown. Some of the remaining staff at Eastriggs were employed in Longtown, and the MoD stressed that there was no current threat to the 300 staff at that depot.

A spokesman for the MOD said: "Because of the depotís age and the outdated design of its buildings, much of the ammunition has already been relocated to other sites, including the Longtown depot in 2008. A core stockholding has been retained on the site but since then further stock rationalisation has proved an opportunity for the remaining stock to be transferred to other UK munitions depots."[1]

In May 2011, the issue of longtown's future was raised again, after a site inspection at DSDA Longtown and its Eastriggs satellite identified some of the storehouses as being unsafe. The MoD stated that an interim solution would see some of the buildings being 'patched up' but that the long term future of Longtown was still being considered.[2]

Refereences

1 News & Star | News | Munitions moved out of Eastriggs depot Retrieved November 13, 2011.

2 Cumberland News | News | Fears resurface for future of munitions depot at Longtown Retrieved November 13, 2011.

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