£1.3m Dingwall Cadet Centre block opened

November 24, 2016

The new £1.3 million Highlander Accommodation Block at Dingwall Cadet Training Centre – which will benefit more than 500 service cadets – was opened on 21 November by Mrs Janet Bowen, the Lord Lieutenant of Ross and Cromarty.

The block will be used by the cadets of 1st Battalion the Highlanders Army Cadet Force, who come from detachments across the Highlands from Thurso to Aviemore and Dingwall to the Western Isles. The training centre is a key facility that allows the detachments to come together for training, sports and much more.

Funding for the project was provided by HRFCA. The organisation manages all the reserve and cadet infrastructure – buildings of all shapes and sizes – across the Highlands and Islands. The project architects were Wellwood Leslie, and building work was carried out by McGregor Construction (Highlands) Ltd.

The 50-plus guests and hosts, including local councillors and military representatives, were welcomed to the centre by HRFCA Chairman Nick Dorman.

He said: “The new Highlander Block is the most challenging project the Estates Team, led by Randall Christie, has undertaken in many years, both in practical terms and financially. The site was a demanding one, with a high water table meaning that getting out of the ground was an achievement in itself. All in all quite an achievement, and the end result is a facility that will be used most weekends for the cadets of 1 Highlanders.”

Opening the centre, Mrs Janet Bowen, said: “The new Highlander Block is an impressive building, purpose-built specifically to provide comfortable, modern accommodation for cadets. It is a real demonstration of the fact that careful management of very limited budgets can produce first-class results.

“The building has been designed for today’s needs and the demands of the future, and is as ‘green’ and efficient in terms of running costs, as possible. The primary beneficiaries of course will be the cadets themselves, and this is a most welcome addition to the facilities available for their use.

“I would also like to pay tribute to the adults who lead and look after the cadets, both full-time and especially volunteers, without whose dedication and commitment, not to mention good humour, the cadet organisations would simply not exist.”

Presentations were also given by Cadet Lance Corporal Laura Bates from the Tain Detachment and Cadet Adult Sergeant Ashleigh Davison from Dingwall.

The Storehouse provided excellent catering, with front-of-house duties courtesy of sisters Sophie Heise and Erin MacNeil.