A newly-built base for Air and Army Cadets was officially opened in Hitchin, Hertfordshire by the Countess of Verulam and the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire.
The half-a-million pound building will act as a shared base between the Hitchin Army Cadet Force and 1066 Hitchin Squadron ATC squadrons and uses the latest renewable energy forms with many new facilities.
Accompanied by the OC for 1066 Squadron and the Commandant for Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire ACF, the Countess was introduced to the staff and inspected the parade before the cutting of the ribbon ceremony.
Located in Bedford Road, the building was project managed and designed by the Estates Department at East Anglia RFCA with consultant architects Hoopers and construction by Newland Construction Limited. State-of-the-art renewable energy sources mean the Shared Cadet Centre has a heating and cooling air system powered by an air source heat pump as well as solar powered electricity from PV Array installed on the roof.
Part of the official opening on Saturday 12th October started with a tour of the new building led by local Army Cadet Force Commandant, Colonel Sharwood-Smith, a great opportunity to showcase several displays that had been arranged by both the ACF and ATC. The army cadets performed drill and first aid displays as well as songs from the air cadet marching band to mark the occasion.
The 1066 cadets introduced the Countess to photographic memories from the squadron’s past and present history, followed by a question and answer session with the Lord Lieutenant.
Pilot Officer Jones, who had the honour of being parade commander and escorting the Countess around the ATC stands said:
“Both the units utilising this building certainly did themselves proud today. The Countess seemed extremely impressed by the turnout and activities on offer from both the Army and Air Cadets.
You normally don’t get to experience the opening of a new cadet building during your cadet career and I certainly hope all those present today will remember it for a long time to come.”