Construction of a brand new bespoke facility for Royal Naval Reservists has officially begun in the heart of Cardiff Bay.

Commodore Martin Quinn ADC FCIS FIoD held a commencement ceremony to break the first ground at the brownfield site, which will be regenerated to meet the aspirations of the UK’s Reserve Forces for the next 50 years.

The Royal Navy is investing over £10m in the project and it will be operational by Spring 2020. The state-of-the-art building will provide modern 21st century training facilities for the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR), Royal Marines Reserve (RMR) and University Royal Naval Unit (URNU).

Commodore Martin Quinn ADC FCIS FIoD, Commander Maritime Reserves, said: “The Royal Navy is fully committed to having a presence in Wales and today marks a significant milestone in ensuring this commitment is realised. I am excited to see this project develop which will deliver state-of-the-art training and accommodation facilities for the Royal Naval Reserve for many years to come.”

The project will be delivered by the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association (RFCA) for Wales in partnership with Associated British Ports (ABP). They have improved and expanded the footprint and capability of the Royal Navy in Wales by agreeing a long term lease on the location.

Colonel Nick Beard TD DL, Chief Executive of RFCA for Wales, said: “As the enabling voice for reserves and cadets in Wales, we are very proud to deliver this project on behalf of the Royal Navy. This will provide more opportunities for reservists to fulfill their role as vital and valued members of the Armed Forces family.

“We are also delighted to bring HMS Cambria back to its original maritime home, a move we hope will inspire future reservists from the surrounding areas. People from all walks of life are welcome to come and experience the opportunities and activities that the RNR offers, which can truly unlock their potential.”

Matthew Kennerley, Director, Associated British Ports, South Wales, said: “The Port of Cardiff has a long association with the Royal Navy and we are pleased to be welcoming HMS Cambria back to the port. Our vast land bank allows us to support major projects, and we are delighted to be using our port infrastructure to support such an important maritime project for the region.”

Reservists will have access to state-of-the-art classroom suites, shared accommodation facilities, administrative services, as well as social and fitness centres under the roof of the new digital building.

The qualifications and skills reservists will learn can be transferred to their civilian lives, where they will be better equipped to contribute to their employers and society as a whole.

Anyone interested in joining the reserves in Wales can search ‘Royal Navy Careers’ online or call 0345 600 3222.

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