Three new joint cadet centres are to be created in Yorkshire and the Humber as part of a national effort to modernise the reserve and cadet estate.
The new centres will be in Skipton, Mirfield and Immingham and will be the RFCA for Yorkshire and the Humber’s first step in delivering its contribution towards the Government’s drive to improve the cadet and reserve estate across the UK.
“Over the next ten years, we will adapt and streamline our estate to ensure we have the right buildings in place to meet the needs of cadets and reserves into the future,” said RFCA head of estates Ian Hardbattle.
“That means some sites could close while others could be redeveloped or extended so they can accommodate more than one unit.
“As the organisation responsible for all the cadet and reserve buildings in the region, we know we have a lot to deliver and we are gearing up to play our part.”
The RFCA for Yorkshire and the Humber has been given the go-ahead to recruit a third surveyor to join its current team of two who manage the 600-plus buildings that serve the region’s cadets and reserves.
The Ministry of Defence’s RFCA Estate Optimisation Programme (REO) is a tri-service project that aims to ensure the estate managed by all 13 of the UK’s RFCAs provide the best possible places for cadets and reserves to work and train in.
The programme follows a national review of the reserve and cadet estate which took place in 2020 and examined in detail the reach, condition and suitability of every cadet and reserve building, as well as their value for money.
Although the initiative is led by the Ministry of Defence, the Council of RFCAs, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation as well as regional RFCAs are closely involved.
“The plan is to deliver the programme in three phases,” said Ian.
“The focus of the first phase is the cadet estate and projects involving the reserve estate will come later and have yet to be agreed. However, the focus is likely to be on sites earmarked for closure during an earlier MOD initiative, and in Yorkshire and the Humber that means we are likely to be considering the future of reserve centres in Scarborough, Hull and Sheffield.
In Skipton, the RFCA plans to adapt the existing Air Cadet Centre at Shortbank Road so it can accommodate the local Army Cadet Unit, currently based in North Parade.
In Mirfield, a new Joint Cadet Centre will be built on the site of the Air Cadet Centre on Huddersfield Road and the Army Centre on Crowther Road will closed.
In Immingham, a new Joint Cadet Centre will be built on Air Cadet land on Pelham Road and the current Army Cadet Centre in Humberville Road will close.
The RFCA will also dispose of three leasehold sites in Cleethorpes, Wolfreton and Wath-on-Dearne – which once housed army cadet units but which have stood empty for some time.