A ROYAL Navy base and an army training camp were both threatened with closure - but now they're set to stay open following an Ministry of Defence (MoD) delay.

The news come after Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood declared in parliament that plans to close HMS Sultan, a primary training establishment based in Gosport by 2024 have been "delayed", along with plans to close Sir John Moore Barracks in Winchester by 2021.

Plans to close the bases came after the Ministry of Defence announced their "A Better Defence Estate" scheme in 2016 which planned on disposing 91 military sites across the UK.

Now the Ministry of Defence have confirmed plans to close the Gosport base will be delayed until at least 2029, while Sir John Moore Barracks is set to close by 2024.

Winchester city councillor Patrick Cunningham, who lives near the barracks in Littleton has previously questioned whether the disposal would go ahead, saying: “My thoughts are perhaps the new minister is calling all these things in and looking at them again.”

The defence secretary at the time of the 2016 review was Michael Fallon, who has since been succeeded by Gavin Williamson.

As previously reported, the future use of Sir John Moore Barracks, which opened in 1986 to replace Peninsula Barracks in the city centre, is currently up in the air. Last summer Winchester Lib Dems called for the site to be used for a hospital to replace the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, currently on Romsey Road.

Meanwhile, Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, who has been campaigning to stop the closure of HMS Sultan, said: “I’m delighted that the Ministry of Defence have finally concluded what local people have always known, that closing HMS Sultan would be a huge mistake for the MoD the Royal Navy and Gosport.

"This area has a proud history of serving our Armed Forces and excellent facilities such as these are vital to ensuring that our personnel are equipped with the skills they need to defend our country.”

Ms Dinenage met with former Defence Secretary Michael Fallon MP shortly after the 2016 announcement and in 2017 brought Defence Minister, Tobias Ellwood MP, to Gosport to visit HMS Sultan and show him first-hand the importance of retaining the Ofsted-excellent-rated training establishment.

The Gosport MP also formed a taskforce made up of local and national stakeholders, including the Defence Infrastructure Organisation to plot a sound economic future for local public estate that was earmarked for disposal and discuss alternatives to closing HMS Sultan.

The delays were announced in an update to the Defence Estate Optimisation Programme today, setting new information for 33 military sites across the UK.

The MoD said: "Following detailed assessment work the outline plan has now been updated, providing clarity and certainty for personnel and communities for the next five years.

"Today’s announcement is accompanied by the confirmation that £1.5billion will be invested over the next five years to ensure that the estate meets both military objectives and the high standards required to house and support service personnel and their families."