Published: 06:00, 27 April 2021
| Updated: 09:17, 27 April 2021
Plans for a multi-million pound state-of-the-art training centre submitted by sea cadets on the Island has been approved.
The scheme was put forward by Sheppey Sea Cadets in October 2019 and was given backing by Swale council, although the details have been amended after consultation with Historic England.
Those changes will see both blocks, which will include sleeping accommodation for 66 cadets, set back from the canal at Barton’s Point Coastal Park, Sheerness.
“It has been a long time coming," said vice-chairman Andy Willmore.
“The delay was caused by discussions with Historic England, mainly due to the proximity of the new building to the canal, which is The Queenborough Lines and which is a scheduled monument.
“They felt the building was too close to The Queenborough Lines, making it look like an industrial canal. So they had a site visit.
“What we had to do was compromise and we agreed to move the two blocks back as far as we could to help with their concerns about its proximity to the canal.
'It is going to take a couple of years at least to raise the capital.'
“Also, what we called block one - which is where the dormitories and the hall and the canteen are going to be - we have actually removed one section from the first floor there.
“So from a distance, it looks like two buildings.”
It is a project which could cost up to £4 million.
Mr Willmore added: “The big ask now is raising the money for it. At the moment, we are formulating a funding strategy.
“Obviously, we will be looking at getting funding because, at the end of the day, we are looking for around £4 million pounds.
“I don’t think anything will be happening very quickly. It is going to take a couple of years at least to raise the capital.”
Mr Willmore adds he had been for a site visit at another Sea Cadets’ base in Sussex for research.
Work must have started on the project by April 2024.
The Sea Cadets have already been granted £15,000 by Swale council last month and £20,000 from the Postcode Lottery.
Since 1954, the existing concrete barracks-style building on a former military firing range has been used by the cadets.
They meet on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. More here and by searching 19/505216/FULL.