Plans for new cadet centre

ARMY and air cadets in Nailsea are all fired up over plans to finally get a new purpose-built shared building.

Proposals have been submitted to North Somerset Council by Wessex Reserve Forces Cadets Association to demolish the existing dilapidated hut on land off Greenfield Crescent and replace it with a single-storey red brick cadet centre and steel-framed training theatre for Nailsea Air Training Corps 2467 Squadron and Army Cadet Force Nailsea Platoon.

The air cadets have been based there since 1953 but the army cadets moved in after their HQ in Whitesfield Road burned down in 2009.

The groups will continue to share the new centre, which will be more than twice the size of their existing hut, and include a training hall, four offices, two classrooms, two storerooms, a servery, toilets, a circulation area and a joint classroom, using it on alternate nights.

Other sites considered were near Nailsea & Backwell Rugby Club in West End Lane and next to the fire station in Clevedon Road.

The 31 air cadets and 27 army cadets, aged 13-18, spend their evenings, weekends and summer holidays learning field crafts and survival skills, earning qualifications, competing in sailing competitions and flying gliders, as well as drill practice.

Many go on to join the military.

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Platoon Commander Army Cadets, Heidi Pursey, said she was ‘very happy’ to hear the news after a 10-year wait.

She said: “Hopefully it will be a nice modern building with the area landscaped instead of the falling down building with pot-holed paths like we have now.

“It is going to make such a difference for both units and it will be lovely to have designated office and storage space and a permanent building instead of a portable cabin structure.”

She expects it will be about two years before the new buildings are in use.

The Ministry of Defence will be footing the bill and the cadets have been fundraising for new equipment to furnish the buildings.

Nailsea Town Council’s planning and environmental committee will discuss the application at a meeting on January 25.

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