STAFF say that moving a military distribution centre more than 100 miles from Europe's largest British Army base will cost more money than it saves.

The regional distribution centre at Catterick Garrison, which sends supplies to Ministry of Defence premises across northern England, will close in December, with the loss of 17 jobs.

The service will be moved to Longtown, Cumbria - about 110 miles from the North Yorkshire garrison.

Workers were told of the proposed closure by letter last week.

One, who asked not to be named, said he and colleagues struggled to understand the reason for the move.

"Apparently, they are going to create four jobs at Longtown and they say the move will save £100,000 a year," he said.

"But it will cost more in fuel and time.

"Catterick Garrison is going to be a super-garrison with major expansion happening and it will mean a five-hour round trip to deliver equipment from Longtown."

Catterick Garrison was home to Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers workshops, which needed large amounts of components from the distribution centre, he said.

The depot closure is one of eight across the UK, which are expected to save about £1.5m a year.

The Army's regional distribution centres are the hubs from which supplies, from small components to tank tracks, are transported to bases.

They are run by the Defence Logistics Organisation (DLO). No one from the organisation was available for comment.

An Army spokeswoman at Catterick Garrison said the proposed closure was a matter for the DLO and would not comment further.

A meeting between the Ministry of Defence and the Amicus union, which represents distribution centre staff, is understood to have been arranged for later this month to discuss the closures.