A MILITARY base that raised almost £230,000 for good causes in the past year has been honoured with a prestigious peace prize.

RAF Leeming, near Bedale, beat off stiff competition from across the RAF to win the Firmin Sword of Peace Award.

Birmingham-based Firmin and Sons has more than 330 years of experience in producing finely detailed swords, bayonets, cuirasses and other ceremonial items to the military.

There are four Swords of Peace awarded each year, one each to the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, as well as a Joint Service Award.

The awards are given to the unit of each service that has been judged to have made the most valuable contribution to humanitarian activities by establishing good and friendly relations with the inhabitants of any community at home or overseas.

As well as maintaining its military roles, Leeming has supported a catalogue of humanitarian and engagement activities through fund-raising and community involvement.

New station commander Group Captain Reeves said: “Although I have only just arrived at the station, the close relationship with the wider community was obvious.

“I am very glad that the younger generation in the local area will benefit from the improvements made possible by the hard work of my predecessor and his team.”

Firmin sales director Tony Kelly, who presented the sword, said: “It is marvellous to listen to the wonderful work that this station has been in involved with in such a wide geographical area.

“It is quite humbling for industry to attend these events and listen to the marvellous work that has been carried out by our servicemen and women, in particular here at RAF Leeming.”