THE news that the Government has pledged tens of thousands of pounds to aid the expansion plan at Catterick Garrison will be most welcome to local people.

Growth is not always a positive thing when it comes to local communities and the infrastructure that serves them.

There have been many instances where once-small market towns are added to with piecemeal developments, and before you know it, the schools, doctor’s surgeries and road network become swamped.

But when growth is managed properly, there are certainly benefits to be had.

An influx of young families can help keep communities vibrant and if new amenities and networks are created to serve them, there should be no extra pressure on existing facilities.

In the face of cut-backs to the military - and in virtually every sphere of council and government services - it is refreshing to see new investment and a long-term commitment to the future of Catterick Garrison.

This region is proud of its military heritage, and rightly so, and it is undoubtedly a positive thing to know that Catterick is set to flourish into the future rather than being scaled back like other garrisons across the country.

In 2016 the Government announced that 56 military bases will be sold off by 2040, reducing the MoD’s built estate by 30 per cent.

The Imphal Barracks in York is one of the shock casualties of this long-term plan.

While no one takes heart in any other area losing such an asset, Catterick Garrison, at least, has a brighter future.