Local Interests, Regional Needs or National Imperative? The Otterburn Question and the Military Training in Rural Areas
This chapter provides three sets of arguments and shows how each spoke about the locational significance of the Otterburn Training Area. It argues that at a local level the locational significance of the Otterburn Training Area (OTA) was portrayed mostly in economic terms. The chapter examines how the cultural heritage of the area was portrayed as distinctive, and how this specificity used to counter the claims of the site developments. The chapter argues that Otterburn was promoted by the army and Ministry of Defence (MoD) in terms which emphasised its national significance as a key nexus in much wider structures of defence organisation. It shows how the MoD's portrayal of the OTA shifted somewhat over the 1990s as part of a wider strategy to emphasise the centrality of the OTA in defence planning. Otterburn shifts from being a remote windswept rural training area to being the front line in UK defence policy.