THE Ministry of Defence has announced today (Thursday) that it will not close the army barracks in Brecon.

Brecon Barracks, which has stood in the town since 1805, will not be put for sale after it was threatened five years ago with closure by 2027.

Defence secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement to the House of Commons: "The retention of Brecon barracks and the growth of Wrexham are just part of a 320 million pound investment in the army estate in Wales."

Earlier this year, it was announced that the 160th (Welsh) Brigade headquarters, the Army’s Welsh base since 1972, will remain in the south Powys town.

Brecon and Radnorshire MP Fay Jones said she was "absolutely thrilled" with today's "extremely exciting" announcement.

The Conservative MP said: "I'm absolutely delighted with this. The Barracks is so important to the town. It's a big part of our history but, of course, operationally this is where the Army's coronavirus response was organised from.

"We got half way in January when the Minister confirmed that the personnel would stay in the town. Now they've confirmed today that this site will not be sold. I am absolutely thrilled."

She added: "I'd want to thank everybody who has been a part of the campaign. It's something that I've been working on since 2019. I am so pleased that we have done it and I hope that you are too."

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader and former Brecon and Radnorshire MP Jane Dodds said she was "delighted" to learn that the army barracks has been saved from closure.

“Brecon and Radnorshire Liberal Democrats, myself and Kirsty Williams had continuously pressed for the Barracks to remain open and want to thank all those involved in securing its future."

Brecon Barracks was used as a Joint Military Command Centre coordinating with the Welsh Government’s Emergency Coordination Centre and Wales’ four Local Resilience Forums.

Reservists from the Royal Welsh regiment were trained to assist with the cleaning and decontamination of ambulances. This training took place at the Infantry Battle School in Brecon. Meanwhile, Gurkha soldiers have helped to construct the UK’s temporary treatment and testing facilities.