By Marcus Leach

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson today (Wednesday) visited RAF Uxbridge, where 1,300 permanent jobs will be created as part of a major redevelopment of the former base. A further 270 construction jobs will also be up for grabs as the site is transformed.

The site's barracks, accommodation blocks, mess facilities, and other buildings will be converted or replaced with 1,300 new homes, a 1,200 seat theatre, a 90 room hotel, a new school and GP surgery as well as shops, offices and other community and recreation facilities, providing a major regeneration opportunity for the local economy. Part of the site, which forms Green Belt land, would be protected through development of a new 14 hectare district park.

The base, headquarters to No 11 Group RAF, played a crucial role in World War II defending London and the South East from the Luftwaffe. The Grade II listed Hillingdon House and the historic Battle of Britain Bunker, from where RAF operations were directed, will be preserved as part of the new development, which was approved by the Mayor.

The Mayor was shown around the bunker by RAF Squadron Leader, Richard Willis and Curator, Dan Stirland, before touring the base. The redevelopment is part of the Ministry of Defence’s programme to centralise its military units at RAF Northolt.

"As unemployment continues to rise, developments like the RAF Uxbridge site are crucial to create permanent jobs and boost the local economy," the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said.

"Investment in regeneration is what will drive the capital out of the downturn and make it even more competitive to prosper in the long term. It is fitting that this historic site, which played a pivotal role defending London during World War II, is being transformed for generations to come."

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