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The Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Wales today joined the Association of British Ports (ABP) South Wales and their contractor Morgan Sindall at the new state-of-the-art training facility at Cardiff Bay, to celebrate a landmark stage of the building’s construction with a topping out ceremony.
The building will provide modern, fit-for-purpose training and administrative facilities for the Royal Naval (RN) units in Wales. Its 3,755 sq. ft. will be home to a number of amenities including training and teaching suites, external training areas and parade square.
A widely observed tradition within the construction industry, the topping out ceremony indicates the half-way mark to a building’s completion celebrates the project’s progress and the huge contribution of its workforce. To date, they have employed the services of over 50 contractors, creating dozens of employment opportunities for Wales-based electricians, joiners, roofers and labourers, in addition to those from creative, technical and business support industries.
Much of the £8.2 million investment has remained in the Welsh economy, which has helped to increase the GDP for Wales, which is up to 0.3%, compared to 0.2% across the rest of the UK. The UK Government commissioned the project to align with the Future Reserves 2020 (FR20) programme, which is committed to encourage growth and investment in the UK’s Reserve Forces. The building is a significant investment in Wales by the Ministry of Defence. It is the single biggest investment in FR20 infrastructure and equates to 10% of the RN budget.
Mike Feeney, RFCA for Wales Head of Estates, has been coordinating the project since 2018. He commented that:
“The Ministry of Defence’s interest and investment in Wales will not only benefit those using the building, but will continue to contribute to the local economy. “Project Cardiff, along with other construction projects such as new builds for HMRC, BBC Wales and Cardiff University – to name but a few, have not only shaped the skyline of the city, but has also created employment opportunities.”
The new headquarters of the Royal Navy in Wales will also provide accommodation for up to 50 people, and up to 80 workspaces, and personnel will benefit from the new facility when it is completed in early 2020. Speaking about the facility at the ceremony, Commodore Martin Quinn CMR (Head of the Royal Naval Reserve in the UK) said: “It will be a jewel in the crown of the Royal Naval Reserve, but more importantly it will be the beating heart of the Royal Navy in Wales.”