A POPULAR territorial army squadron will still be axed despite a Government U-turn over funding.

This week Prime Minister Gordon Brown reversed controversial £20million cuts to the TA’s training budget under fire from opposition parties.

But this will not benefit the 93 Signal Squadron, based in Canterbury Street, Blackburn, which will formally disband in March because of a restructuring of the Signal Brigade, an army spokesman confirmed.

The 93 East Lancashire Signal Squadron celebrated its 40th anniversary in the town at an emotional dinner at the Canterbury Street barracks at the weekend.

It was attended by 78 former members, who came from across Britain to attend.

Staff administration officer Captain Dale Ikin said: “It was made more poignant and emotional by the fact that this is the last time we will get together.

“There were people there who hadn’t seen each other for 30 years.”

There are at least 60 reservists, aged 17 to 55, based at Canterbury Street, and about six full-time staff.

Its members are deployed overseas, including in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it has done a wealth of charity work and organises the town’s annual Remembrance Day parade.

The dinner, on Saturday evening, was hosted by the Officer Commanding, Major Robin Fitzpatrick. It took place in the main drill hall surrounded by photographic memorabilia.

The squadron was formed on October 28 1955, but will formally disband on March 31.

The TA unit at the Somme Barracks, Moss Street, Blackburn, and other units in Lancashire, are not affected by the change, but they would have seen their training budget reduced under Gordon Brown’s proposals which are now not to go ahead.