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Royal Navy's Reserve Hub gets go ahead in Wales

Posted 6 July 2017 · Add Comment

A brand new bespoke facility for the Royal Navy's Reserve Forces has been granted planning permission by Cardiff Council.



Cardiff Council’s planning committee approved the application for the £11 million investment by the Royal Navy, which will provide a modern 21st century training establishment for the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR), Royal Marine Reserve (RMR) and the University Royal Naval Unit (URNU), that will meet the aspirations of the UK’s Reserves Forces for the next 50 years.

The project will be delivered by the Reserve Forces’ & Cadets’ Association for Wales (RFCA) in partnership with the Royal Navy and Associated British Ports (ABP), who have offered the Navy a long term lease on the waterfront site in Cardiff Bay.

ABP’s design team, working closely with RFCA and the Royal Navy is progressing designs while the tender procurement process is underway. This process should be completed by November 2017 allowing a mobilisation period for the preferred contractor to start construction on site in early 2018.

The new build will provide state-of-the-art training and classroom suites, accommodation, administrative services, as well as social and fitness facilities.

There will also be access to the Waterfront and docking facilities for visiting warships.  There will be shared accommodation facilities for three naval Units, the RNR Unit HMS Cambria, The Royal Marine Reserves Cardiff Detachment and the Wales URNU.

Commander Steve Fry, the Commanding Officer of HMS Cambria, the local RNR unit said:  “We are very excited about this project. It is very fitting that this significant investment by the Royal Navy in Wales, which will provide great opportunities for our Reservists and for anyone wishing to be part of the Reserve Forces, gets the go ahead today on Reserves Day”.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said: “The Navy’s investment in this facility signals the UK Government’s commitment to preserving a strong military footprint in Wales.

“Reservists are playing an increasingly vital role in the Navy, often taking part in operations around the world.  Not only do they potentially risk their lives, they also play a crucial role in promoting a greater understanding of the Royal Navy and its work among the general public.

“I have no doubt that this new facility will attract the high-quality recruits we need to ensure that Wales’s distinguished contribution to the defence of the United Kingdom will continue.

Rear Admiral Simon Willams, CB CVO, Flag Officer Reserves, said:  “The Royal Navy has a strong connection to South Wales and this investment reflects the Royal Navy’s continued commitment to the area.

"This project reflects the high value we place on our Reserves Forces and an appreciation of the support the South Wales’ communities give to our Armed Forces”.

Colonel Nick Beard, Chief Executive of RFCA for Wales, said:  “This project demonstrates the Royal Navy is fully committed to having a presence in Wales.  We are delighted to receive the go ahead today and will continue to work with the Royal Navy and ABP to provide the best possible facilities for our Reservists to work and train.

"This will be a state-of-the-art build, providing value for money, and scope for expansion and further development in the future.”

James Cooper, ABP Chief Executive, said: "The Port of Cardiff is proud to be working with the Royal Navy and the Reserve Forces’ & Cadets’ Association for Wales to develop a facility that will play such a vital role in developing future generations of service personnel.

“The scheme is evidence of ABP’s ability to provide development opportunities linked to comprehensive port services and multimodal transport links in strategically significant locations. The Port of Cardiff is ready to deliver further schemes of this scale and beyond.”

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