Cadets salute their new HQ

NEW BEGINNING: Back from left, Sara Jane Pollard, Coun David Ridgway, James Byrne, Captain Ian Robinson; front, Carl Harris and Fergus Eakin.
NEW BEGINNING: Back from left, Sara Jane Pollard, Coun David Ridgway, James Byrne, Captain Ian Robinson; front, Carl Harris and Fergus Eakin.

JUST six months after their old and dilapidated headquarters was demolished, air and army cadets have a brand new state-of-the art building.

The new centre, off Bradford Road in Littletown, has been officially opened and organisers are hoping it will attract even more young people to become members.

Dignitaries from the Army Cadet Force, Air Training Corps and the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association joined members and the Mayor of Kirklees, Coun David Ridgway for the opening ceremony.

The Spen Valley Army Cadets and 2490 (Spen Valley) Squadron of Air Cadets both share the premises but had long outgrown the previous 40-year old building, which was never designed to house so many.

The new brick-built centre can comfortably house the existing 55 cadets from both detachments, and there is plenty of room for more.

Spen Valley Army Cadet Corporal James Byrne from Cleckheaton, 16, said: “It’s so good to be back home at our detachment again, and it looks fantastic! The classrooms, the drill hall, the modern equipment are all superb, and is just what we needed.

“I’ve loved being in cadets over the last four and a half years and have been places and done things that very few people my age get the chance to, but having this new centre to come to twice a week has made everything even better.”

Air Cadet Fergus Eakin, 16, added: “We’re so thrilled to have this new building to train in – all of the new facilities are fantastic! Before it was always a little cramped and we couldn’t do as many things as often as we’d like, but now we’ve got much more room for activities we previously couldn’t do. Everything is perfect - we love it!”

Featuring a much larger drill hall, which allows cadets to parade properly inside, plus additional classrooms and offices, the new centre enables the cadets to experience a much fuller range of activities and training.

This includes a Radio Room, in addition to rooms for computer equipment plus dedicated areas for project work.

The air cadets are looking for new recruits aged 13-18 to their meetings on Monday and Friday evenings.

Activities offered include flying, gliding, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, sport, adventure training, leadership development and much more. For further details visit the Cadet Centre on any parade night or email 2490@aircadets.org.