Published: Monday, 19th December 2016
The Ministry of Defence has announced a plan to close the Barracks in 2028.
There was unanimous support from councillors across the Royal Borough of Greenwich Council last night to lobby the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to keep the Woolwich Barracks at its historical home in the heart of the borough. Seventeen councillors from across the political spectrum proposed a Motion to oppose the closure.
The MoD announced the planned closure in 'A Better Defence Estate' Strategy on 7 November 2016.
At the heart of Woolwich
The Grade II* listed Barracks have been at the heart of Woolwich since their completion in 1802, and have been a core part of the Council's community links with the Armed Forces, going back three centuries.
At the last full Council meeting on Wednesday 14 December, councillors showed their support for the cross-party campaign to lobby the Ministry of Defence most strongly to keep the Barracks in Woolwich.
'A Motion that crossed the political divide'
Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: "The Barracks have a long and respected connection with our borough and we value their continued presence here. I was proud to be part of a Motion that crossed the political divide and we stood united in our mission to lobby at the highest level to keep the Army in Woolwich at the heart of our community."
Leader of the Opposition and ward councillor for Coldharbour and New Eltham, Matt Hartley, said: "I am pleased that councillors from both parties supported the Motion on the Barracks, which are such a crucial part of our local heritage and community. I look forward to continuing to work across party lines to campaign, as a whole community, to keep the Army in Woolwich far beyond 2028."
Host to one of the largest Armed Forces Days
Organised by the Royal Borough of Greenwich, each year the Barracks plays host one of the UK's largest Armed Forces Day events to be held, with over 20,000 visitors regularly attending. The combined Great Get Together and Armed Forces Day event is set against the stunning backdrop of the Royal Artillery Barracks parade ground.
The annual event, a regular favourite of many residents young and old, from a variety of cultural backgrounds, hosts a wide range of event attractions including an army assault course for children, have-a-go sports sessions, a variety of static displays from vintage motorbikes, along with military bands, stunt vehicle shows and other spectacular displays.