The army withdraws from Scarborough

The Scarborough Army Careers office, on Northway, which is due to close. 'Picture by Neil Silk 121413bb
The Scarborough Army Careers office, on Northway, which is due to close. 'Picture by Neil Silk 121413bb
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Local recruits will soon have to travel to York, Hull or Middlesbrough for career training.

The office in Northway has served the Scarborough area since 1993.

It has seen around 1,200 men and women sign up to army life after enrolling there.

The closure is due to come in to force on May 4, and is the result of the privatisation of army recruitment. Sgt Steve Ross, one of the three recruiters at the Scarborough office, said: “The Scarborough office covers a massive area, nearly all of North Yorkshire from the coast in land to Ryedale.

“Out of the whole of the North East region, from Newcastle to Sheffield, this is the highest performing office percentage wise in terms of the area it covers.

“It is a shame they have chosen to close this one. It could have an affect on recruiting as it will depend if people are willing to travel or not for it.” The three employed at the office will be relocated to other posts within the army.

The news comes as the Scarborough office celebrates another large enlistment of recruits into the service.

Yesterday saw 10 youngsters from Scarborough, Filey, Pickering, Bridlington and Driffield sign up at a ceremony at the Spa.

Scarborough mayor Cllr John Blackburn was on hand to congratulate the new recruits who are now going on military training centres across the country.

Webeka Bekalaze, 28, from Scarborough, who will be joining the Adjutant General Corps as a Human Resource Specialist, said: “The office closure will be tough for people who have already started the training process as there is no encouragement in the area. However if they really want to join they will pay to get to there.”

William Johnson, 17, of Scarborough, who is joining the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers agreed and said if people really want to join the army they will wherever the office is.

However Niall Coyne, 16, of Driffield said he was sad as he joined through the office and without a local office, people will be less inclined to join.

Will Pearson-Smith, 18 of Pickering added; “Its disappointing as it was handy to get information and advice. It will be worse for the other people who want to join as they have to now commute.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: “No final decisions have yet been taken. There is likely to be a reduction in recruiting centres, but it would not be appropriate to comment on where these proposed closures are until affected staff have been informed as part of a wider consultation process.

“These changes will help modernise army recruiting and deliver significant savings to the tax payer over 10 years.”