A new £700,000 facility for cadets was formally opened yesterday (Thursday, 21 September) byColonel Mark Bryant MBE DL, Representative Deputy Lieutenant for the London Borough of Havering.
The specially designed Joint Cadet Centre is home to 48 Cadet Detachment (Royal Logistic Corps) Army Cadet Force (ACF), and 452 (Hornchurch) Squadron RAF Air Cadets.
As he opened the buildingin the presence of the Mayor of Havering, Councillor Linda Van den Hende and General Officer Commanding London District, Major General Ben Bathurst, Colonel Bryant inspected both Army and Air Cadets and said:
“I first put on a uniform with the cadets in north east London nearly 60 years ago, so it’s a great pleasure to be here today back where I started to open this fantastic new facility.”
Flight Lieutenant Dave Emmins leads 452 (Hornchurch) Squadron RAF Air Cadets, he says the new building is a tremendous boost to members of the Squadron.
“Having a modern venue makes a massive difference, it allows us to operate in all conditions in a comfortable inviting environment. We also now have a parade square enabling us to practice drill at our home base for the first time.” “
The building, delivered by the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Greater London (GL RFCA), incorporates solar panels and underground heat pumps to lower running costs and reduce its carbon footprint.. It includes classrooms, offices, a kitchen and hall. The building replaces aging cadet huts which were no longer fit for use and uneconomical to refurbish.
The Hornchurch Joint Cadet Centre is one of three to be formally opened in North East London this month. The Whipps Cross Joint Cadet Centre, home to 35 Cadet Detachment ( Inns of Court and City Yeomanry) and 12F ((Walthamstow and Leyton) RAF Air Cadets opened on 13 September while 44 Cadet Detachment (Royal Horse Artillery) ACF and 1147 (Barking) Squadron RAF Air Cadets open their building on Longbridge Road on 19 September.
GL RFCA Chief Executive Colonel Hugh Purcell said:
“These new buildings are a vote of confidence in the young people of North East London. They represents not just a substantial 2 million pound investment in bricks and mortar, but also an investment in the character and values of the young people who will use them.”
The Army and Air Force Cadets currently at the detachments will now have a shared, permanent, purpose built facility, as will the thousands of young people who will join the detachments in the future.