THE Ministry of Defence still plans to close HMS Caledonia in Rosyth in 2022.

The announcement to close the base was originally made back in 2016 and, once implemented, will mean the long-standing Royal Navy presence in the town will be gone.

At the time, the news was condemned and described as a “kick in the teeth” for the town.

The Press ran a campaign against the closure, which was backed by local communities and politicians, and the issue had gone quiet, with hopes that there could be a change of direction from the MoD.

However, a report published by the MoD’s Defence Estate Optimisation earlier this month revealed that HMS Caledonia is still one of 11 military bases across the UK that are set to close during 2022.

The closures are part of a long-term strategy to deliver a more efficient, modern and capability-focused defence estate.

It is understood that decisions on the future locations of the units occupying the site – including reserves at HMS Scotia and local cadet groups – are still to be made.

Dunfermline and West MP Douglas Chapman previously branded the decision an “historic mistake”.

He told the Press this week that he is still attempting to get answers on the base’s future.

“The latest I’ve heard is that MoD Caledonia is still due for closure in the early 2020s, however some of the spending plans for the Ministry of Defence appear to be up in the air due to Covid,” he said.

“On Tuesday, I quizzed the chancellor on the lack of an emergency budget and what advice he received from his economic advisors in the light of the dual viruses of Brexit and Covid.

"Sad to say, he was unable to answer.

“While the MoD Estates Review is separate, we were also hearing yesterday that the chancellor is putting all other spending decisions on hold and that has huge implications for the Ministry of Defence.

“Caledonia is still the home to several units and support teams and is held in great affection by many people who served there.

"I hope it can be retained in West Fife, but we are in uncharted economic waters and closure could still be on the cards.”