Lord-Lieutenant of Hertfordshire opens new Army Reserve Centre in Hitchin

HM Lord Lieutenant Robert Voss cuts the ribbon at the Army Reserve Centre in Hitchin

On Saturday 23rd September, Lord-Lieutenant, Mr Robert Voss CBE CStJ, officiated the opening of a brand new Army Reserve Centre in Hitchin. As President of East Anglia Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, he welcomed to site the newly established 162 Hospital Squadron, 254 Medical Regiment; a unit that specialises in providing the very highest standards of emergency medicine and healthcare for soldiers on operations.

Col Jane McCue, Honorary Colonel of 254 Medical Regiment, said; “It was a pleasure to host the Lord-Lieutenant at the opening of the Army Reserve Centre in Hitchin. The building is a fantastic, modern facility that will enable Reserve soldiers and cadets, to work and train in comfortable, fit-for-purpose surroundings. The formation of 162 Hospital Squadron, part of 254 (East of England) Multi-role Medical Regiment, will ensure that these premises are fully utilised for some time to come.”

Many dignitaries and guests from across region, including the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire, Mrs Liz Green, were all given a tour of the building and had the opportunity to meet and interact with soldiers from 254 Medical Regiment and 3 Royal Anglian (also based at site) and the Hitchin Army Cadets.

3RA Stand
254 Stand
ACF Stand
Field Ambulance
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East Anglia Reserve Forces & Cadets Association delivered this project in three phases. Hitchin Army Reserve Centre previously comprised of a 1920’s two storey main building with an attached 1930’s drill hall, a 1970’s garage block and timber huts providing accommodation for cadets.

Army Reserve Medics have long occupied the site alongside a thriving cadet scene; Army Cadets, RAF Air Cadets and Sea Cadets have all been based there over the years.

In 2012 the Army and RAF Air Cadets were housed in a newly constructed purpose built cadet centre and in 2014 plans started to develop to replace the facilities utilised by the Reserve Forces.

Phase One, which was completed in October 2018, included demolishing the 1920’s main building and indoor firing range and replacing them with a new modern, single storey, accessible centre providing offices, lecture rooms and ablutions facilities. The 1930’s drill hall was also refurbished externally and linked to the new building. Sustainability was key with power generation from Solar PV supporting the electrical heating systems.

December 2019 witnessed the completion of Phase Two; which involved the refurbishment of the former stores, armouries and Army Cadet Force offices. It also included the installation of a modern kitchen, conference room, mess area and ACF Company HQ office and stores all adjoining the drill hall.

In 2020, the Army medics moved back into the site which was now equipped with all necessary IT connectivity and the Sea Cadets moved from their dilapidated building into the nearby cadet centre at Letchworth. Around the same time, 3 Royal Anglian, 3 Company, 5 platoon based at Hertford were seeking a new base and the newly built/ refurbished Hitchin site fitted their requirements.

As part of the third and final phase, the last of the old cadet huts were recently cleared from the site and now all users can once again benefit from modern fit-for-purpose facilities.

Main Building
Kitchen and Mess
Drill Hall
Classroom 2
Classroom 1B
Classroom 1A
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