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Economic impact RAF Leuchars


Scottish Enterprise (SE) commissioned EKOS to undertake a desk-based economic impact assessment of the RAF Leuchars airbase in Fife, in light of the recent Strategic Defence Review and speculation that the base may be considered for closure. RAF Leuchars is based in the north-east of Fife, seven miles south of Dundee, and provides a Quick Reaction Alert service for policing UK airspace and intercepting unidentified aircraft, as well as hosting the annual Battle of Britain Airshow, which attracts visitor numbers of around 50,000.


The following desk-based research was undertaken for the evaluation: a labour market profile of Fife, with data at the local level and comparisons to Scotland as a whole; and an economic impact assessment of the RAF Leuchars, drawing on headline employment data from SE and co-efficients from an HIE (Highlands and Islands Enterprise) economic impact assessment of the RAF bases at Kinloss and Lossiemouth in Moray.


The estimated economic impact of the base is, at local (Fife) level, 1,800 FTE jobs and £51 million of income, and at Scottish level, 2,450 FTE jobs and £63 million of income. Broader economic and social benefits associated with the base’s presence are estimated to be of significant value also; these include service sector employment, education and schools, population, housing, community support and the area’s image. It was concluded that the economic impact of RAF Leuchars is potentially wide-ranging but, for various methodological reasons, difficult to quantify.


There were no recommendations as this was not within the remit of the report.

Author EKOS Ltd
Published Year 2011
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Area regeneration, Local/community regeneration