March 27th 2024

Award-winning vehicle workshop and training facility officially opens at Kingsway Army Reserve Centre


An Army Reserve base in Derby opened its doors to supporters at the weekend to celebrate the official opening of its multi-million-pound vehicle workshop and training facility.

VIPs rubbed shoulders with Soldiers, their families and employers as they toured Kingsway Army Reserve Centre’s new workshop, state-of-the-art gymnasium and training area.

His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire, Mrs Elizabeth Fothergill CBE, formally opened the new building during a plaque-unveiling ceremony, days after the workshop was recognised with a commendation award in Derby Civic Society’s ‘New Build’ category for 2024.

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire official opens Kingsway Army Reserve Centre's new vehicle workshop.

HM Lord-Lieutenant of Derbyshire official opens Kingsway Army Reserve Centre’s new vehicle workshop.

New build for Future Soldier

Kingsway Army Reserve Centre, on Windmill Hill Lane near Markeaton Park, is home to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME).

Under the Ministry of Defence’s ‘Future Soldier’ programme to make the British Army more agile, more integrated and expeditionary, the REME moved 148 Divisional Support Company, of the 103 Force Support Battalion, into Kingsway to increase its East Midlands presence.

In support of their move, two outdated buildings were demolished and replaced with modern new facilities needed by the Army Reserve unit, which provides equipment repair and recovery services for the infantry, armoured, and support regiments across the British Army’s warfighting division.

Stuart Williams, Chief Executive of East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, said: “Our organisation has three pillars: estates, cadets and youth, and engagement, this project is clearly about estates.

“The Army tasked us to build state-of-the-art training facilities that will support and inspire generations of Reservists for years to come and that is exactly what we’ve done. This project demonstrates that we do more than maintain a safe and compliant estate, we deliver large infrastructure projects too.”

Major Steve Nixon, Officer Commanding of 148 Divisional Support Company, added: “Under Future Soldier, 148 Company is expanding from two platoons and a company headquarters to three full platoons and the company headquarters.

“It’s a big change and a big recruiting challenge to ensure we get the troops in and retain the ones that we’ve got, and this workshop is a big part of that.

“Other Reserve units in the area haven’t had direct REME support for a number of years. This gives us more of an opportunity and capability to bring their vehicles in to provide equipment support to them for repair and maintenance as well as our wider role under Future Soldier to support the Regular Army.

“The fact we’ve got a brand new facility to work in with fantastic gym equipment, as well as the workshop, really shows the troops how valued they are. It can’t do anything but be positive for recruiting and retention.”

Soldiers and their supporters attended the opening ceremony.

Soldiers and their supporters attended the opening ceremony.

Derby Civic Society Award

The new facilities complement the centre’s armoury, mess, drill hall, and office and storage spaces, which are also used by the Kingsway Detachment of Derbyshire Army Cadet Force.

Recognising the vehicle workshop and the build’s architect Allan Joyce in the Derby Civic Society’s 2024 Awards, judges said: “The architects have done well to enable their simple black-clad industrial building to present two different faces to the city.

“The rear elevation of the building is in a prominent elevated position overlooking the Markeaton roundabout and consists of a simple composition of glass and cladding with a scale to match its setting.

“The front elevation is near to the road and should be commended on its careful detailing and some interesting geometry.”

Environmental sustainability was a key consideration at every stage of the project. Recycled aggregate was used during the build and air source heat pumps, heat recovery systems and low-pressure taps were installed to save on energy and operating costs. EV car charging points and bird and bat boxes have also been added.

As a result of this meticulous work, the project achieved ‘excellent’ in the Defence Related Environmental Assessment Method for sustainable development.

Photos from the official opening ceremony are available here.

Interested in joining the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers? Visit the Army’s website to find out more.