Building works are underway at the Army Reserve Centre in Chesterfield to create a new training space for air cadets in the town.
331 (Chesterfield) Squadron Air Training Corps (ATC) currently train in two modular huts at Wallis Barracks on Boythrope Road, but the facilities have become dated meaning it was decided a new training facility was needed.
An unused storage space, on the same site as the cadets’ current training huts, is being renovated for the cadets in order to create a new training space by this summer.
Internal building works are now underway to create a new drill hall, interactive classrooms, IT suite, offices, a store room, bathroom, and kitchen facilities.
Martin Capewell, Head of Estates at East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, said: “We started on site about four weeks ago and we are hoping works will be completed by the end of July. By creating the new space we are making the most of resources available to us locally and the cadets and adult volunteers from 331 (Chesterfield) Squadron will not have far to travel to use the new training space.
“One of the advantages of renovating an existing space is that we can make use of the infrastructure that was already in place. The former storage space was one of the first local buildings we installed solar panels on about five years ago. The solar panels are going to be retained which will not only help to save the ATC money in electricity usage, it will also mean we will get some money back through the feeding tariff later in the year which can then be used towards other ATC projects.”
Simon Donaldson, Officer Commanding of 331 (Chesterfield) Squadron, said: “A new Squadron HQ has been an aspiration of ours for the last 20 years. We try to give our 100 plus cadets the opportunity to take part in all that the Air Cadets have to offer and our hope is that this building will successfully support that for years to come. It’s a great vote of confidence in the squadron and a very significant investment in the youth of Chesterfield.”