The RFCA’s Finance Advisory Board have been in Huddersfield to see first hand the scale of work needed at the town’s historic Army Reserve Centre.
Members of the board toured the building in St Paul’s Street which is home to troops from 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment and The Band of The Yorkshire Regiment as well as Sea, Army and Air Cadets
“It’s a fantastic focal point for the Army and cadet forces in the town and is in constant use,” said board member Karen Webster, who is also chair of the RFCA’s Property Assurance Board.
Signs of wear
“However, like all Victorian buildings, it is now showing signs of wear. Undertaking the necessary repairs is going to be one of the biggest financial challenges facing the RFCA over the next few years.
“We are currently patching up the main roof where it is leaking. But we need to carry out far more comprehensive works if we are to ensure the building is properly preserved.”
The RFCA is currently carrying out patch repairs on three parts of the roof which are leaking – including one section which has led to part of a staircase being made out of bounds.
Large number of buildings
“We put in a bid some time ago for £1 million for the works so we are confident the Army’s budget holders are aware that this needs to be tackled,” said Karen.
“We are responsible for an extremely large number of buildings across the region and some, such as this, are Victorian or Edwardian and are listed buildings. Inevitably many are reaching a point where major works cannot be postponed.”
At Keighley Drill Hall, a new programme of works is now under way which includes the roof and window lights.
The property was originally scheduled to re-open in November. However, during the course of the renovations, surveyors discovered that the building’s purloins (the timber keeping the roof up) had rotted and needed to be replaced.
Across the whole estate, work is also taking place to ensure all electronically-controlled roller shutter garage doors are fitted with safety brakes. This follows a safety alert issued by the Army and will cost around £150,000, which they are funding.
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