AN RAF base in North Yorkshire is to close as the Ministry of Defence looks at making huge savings across its estate.

The closure of RAF Linton-on-Ouse near York by 2020 has been confirmed as part of wider cuts being made by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

A total of 91 sites owned or managed by the MoD are to be sold, including the home of the Red Arrows display team, RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire.

About 300 people work at the North Yorkshire air base, which is situated just off the A19 between York and Easingwold and has satellite stations at RAF Topcliffe and RAF Dishforth.

The base is used as a flying training centre, where fast jet pilots receive their basic instruction and at one point trained Prince William, who spent four months with the RAF.

It is believed the basic fast jet training will be transferred to RAF Valley in Anglesey, where the advanced training already takes place.

RAF Linton-on-Ouse has been situated in the Hambleton village for 80 years, opening in 1937 as a bomber airfield.

Bombers were launched from Linton during the Second World War to drop propaganda leaflets over Germany and the base was eventually used to launch bombing raids over Italy, Germany and The Netherlands.

Thirsk and Malton MP, Kevin Hollinrake, said they were aware the future of the base looked to be in doubt and had been trying to avoid closure for a number of months.

He said: "We have had meetings with constituents and we tried to suggest alternatives to the Ministry of Defence to avoid closure.

"It's very disappointing.”