Cambridgeshire's Magpas charity to get £1m to help move base
Cambridgeshire-based air ambulance and emergency medical service Magpas has been awarded £1million to help it finance a move from its current RAF Wyton base.
The charity will be forced to move out of its present base by 2019 because the land has been sold for development by the Ministry of Defence. But Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in the Autumn Statement that Magpas would receive £1m from the LIBOR fund to help it move to a combined new base and headquarters.
Currently the charity has its HQ in Huntingdon while the operational base is at RAF Wyton.
Magpas Air Ambulance CEO Daryl Brown said: “We’re thrilled that the Government shares our vision for the future at Magpas Air Ambulance, which saves countless lives and is a leader in the training of trauma care doctors and paramedics across the country.
“The LIBOR funding will be put directly towards a new operations base, which we plan to complete by mid-2018, following the notice that we must vacate RAF Wyton in late 2018 or early 2019.”
Magpas Air Ambulance provides life-sving care by land and air from its operations base at RAF Wyton, and has done so since 2007. To keep saving lives across the East of England and beyond, Magpas annually needs to raise around £4.8m to keep the service running 24/7. It relies on funding from public donations and subscriptions to its lottery. Although no decision has yet been made as to the location of their new base, there are a number of options. A spokeswoman for Magpas added: “No decisions have been made as yet but we are looking at a number of options.“We want to keep the charity in the county of Cambridgeshire.”
Magpas started life as a voluntary service in 1971 when two GPs, Dr Neville Silverston MBE and Dr Derek Cracknell MBE, took action to help victims of road accidents.