News

April 24th 2014

£1 MILLION INVESTMENT GIVES HMS SHERWOOD A NEW HOME

A £1 million renovation project to re-house Nottinghamshire’s only Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) and Royal Marines Reserve units (RMR) is now complete.

The move means that HMS Sherwood (RNR), and their RMR colleagues, of the Nottingham Detachment RMR Merseyside, are co-located with the Army Reserve for the first time in the East Midlands.

The £1 million project to renovate Foresters House has taken nine months to complete and includes a new two-storey building being developed to the rear of the site as well as internal renovation works to the current building to bring the facility up-to-date.

The Ministry of Defence has committed to growing the Reserve forces and the £1 million is part of a wider investment which will see £1.8 billion put into our Reserves over ten years, to give them better equipment and fully integrated training with our Regular forces.

In recent years, Reservists from Nottingham and the East Midlands have played an essential part in operations, serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Gulf, and at home during the London Olympics. Now the investment in the newly refurbished training facilities will help in HMS Sherwood’s efforts to sign-up nearly 70 new local recruits over the next three years.

Foresters House, the Royal Naval Reserves’ and Royal Marines Reserves’ new home, has been home to 350 Field Squadron Royal Engineers since 1999.

The unit’s rededication parade will take place in the presence of His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Michael of Kent GCVO, in his role as Honorary Rear Admiral and Commodore-in-Chief Maritime Reserves.

The parade will take approximately two hours to complete and will include music from The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth and marching platoons from the RNR, RMR and local Sea Cadet units.

HRH will inspect the parade and be joined by Rear Admiral Hockley, Flag Officer Reserves and Commodore Jameson, Commander Maritime Reserves.

The Royal Navy’s Chaplain of the Fleet, The Reverend Brown, will lead a service of re-dedication to mark the formal arrival of the RNR and RMR in the new unit.

An official plaque will also be unveiled during the event by HRH to commemorate the opening the new training centre that will provide first-class facilities for the RNR, RMR and Army Reserves.

Martin Capewell, Head of Estates, at East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA) has overseen the redevelopment project. He said: “Investing in Reserve facilities such as Foresters House is very important for a number of reasons. Last year saw the release of the Government’s Future Reserve 2020 Strategy outlining that the number of Reserves serving with the Armed Forces needs to grow. The Royal Navy Reserve and Royal Marines Reserve are aiming to increase the number of Reserves they have country-wide, so this new development here in Nottingham is great news.

“The project has been challenging due to the nature of the works needed, but we ran on-time throughout and have had the full support of all units involved.”

Commander Martin Clegg, HMS Sherwood’s Commanding Officer, explained why the move is positive, he said: “We are delighted that HRH Prince Michael of Kent is able to join us for our rededication parade.

“The new shared military complex has improved training facilities, modern office space and, importantly, room for expansion. We currently have 76 Reservists at HMS Sherwood, but we are currently actively recruiting throughout the East Midlands and our aim is to increase our numbers by at least 50% over the next few years. I am confident we can achieve this goal given our new facilities and our high profile location.

“Summer 2013 proved to be a confusing time for many outside the military due to rumours that HMS Sherwood was closing. I can definitely state that we are here to stay and the Royal Navy’s substantial investment in the Foresters House site is clear proof of our the excellent prospects for our long term future.”

Major Alastair Edgar, Detachment Commander of the Royal Marines Reserve in Nottingham, said: “After a number of years of uncertainty this new facility provides the security the RMR Detachment needs and will allow it to find its identity. The facility, custom built to our requirement, is a vast improvement to what we had with access to outdoor training space including a brand new climbing rope scaffold.  Foresters House and the Sherbrooke VC Training Centre will allow the Detachment to grow and will ensure the future of the RMR in the East Midlands.”

John Martin Hoyes Ltd, of Lincoln, were the approved contractor completing the project, and worked alongside the building’s designers Maber Architects.