Air cadets looking forward to new home on school field
Air cadets are already looking forward to getting into their new home as building work starts on the Leyes Lane base.
The brand new building on the Kenilworth School field is due to be completed in September when the Balsall Common team can move in.
And to mark the start of work on the 180 square feet base, town mayor, George Illingworth, joined cadets and head teacher, Hayden Abbott for the ‘Turning of the Sod’.
Once complete, the centre will provide a permanent base for 496 Squadron Air Training Corps and strengthen links between the cadets, who are currently based at the Heart of England School , and the town.
Flt Lt Glyn Slade who helps run the squadron, said they have been searching for a new and permanent home for the past 15 years.
And that they could not be more excited about finally setting up in their new home to forge stronger links with Kenilworth and its young people.
“We are really looking for ward to this,” he told the KWN.
“For years we have been running out of classrooms ad car boots, but finally we will have a permanent place to call ours and can formalise our ongoing liaison with Kenilworth.
“We do a lot in the town and it is very exciting to be moving here to make sure that continues and we can do even more in the community.”
As Kenilworth does not have its own training group, the Balsall Common corps has a long history with the town.
Members take part in the Remembrance Day parade and Royal British Legion events in the town each year and teenagers from Kenilworth are members.
Glyn explained that it was all another step forward in helping them to secure a real identity in the town and grow their numbers.
The club, which currently has 11 staff members and 27 cadets, is how hoping to recruit more members from Kenilworth to expand and allow them to do more for the town.
The new £340,000 project building, which is being headed up by the West Midlands Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ association, will be used by the unit in the evenings.
It is also hoped that the school can make use of the building during the day.
Kevin Andrews, head of estates for the association, said they are delighted to be offer an alternative site and that they were delighted work is finally going ahead.
Cllr Illingworth, who is also chair of the town Royal British Legion branch, said there has not been an air cadet unit in the town in living memory other than the Balsall Common members, meaning it was all the more important that they secure the links for the future.
“I am very pleased that they have chosen this location and I think it will be very good for us and for our young people,” he said when the announcement was made late last year.
Also present at the turning of the so ceremony at the school field on Friday were Chairman and Chief Executive of the West Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, and the school governors who gave the project their full backing.
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Weather for Kenilworth
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 4 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west