August 1st 2013

Reserves sail into the future

A £1 million renovation project will see Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marine Reserves and the Territorial Army (TA) co-located at one site from 2014.


Foresters House, Swiney Way, currently home to the Army Reserve Unit: 350 Field Squadron (Air Support), 73 Engineer Regiment, will be refurbished and an existing garage space reconfigured to create the improved premises that will also become home to the city’s only Royal Naval Reserve unit: HMS Sherwood. Also co-located at the site will be a Royal Marines Reserve unit.

Foresters House has been home to 350 Field Squadron Royal Engineers since 1999. It is one of two Squadrons that together create 73 Engineer Regiment.

Next year will see the 350 Field Squadron re-role from an Air Support role to an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and Search Squadron when it becomes part of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), one of two specialist Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiments in the Corps of Royal Engineers. The Squadron will continue to recruit from across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and will be the only Royal Engineer presence in Chesterfield after 2014.


Currently, both the Royal Naval and Royal Marine Reserves are based at Chalfont Drive in Nottingham which is unsuitable for the future training needs of its Reservists; but thanks to funding from Navy Command both units will be moving to an up-to-date, shared military complex on the Foresters House site that will have much improved training facilities, modern office space and, importantly, room for expansion.

Commander Martin Clegg, HMS Sherwood’s Commanding Officer, explained why the move is positive, he said: “My Ship’s Company and I are very much looking forward to moving into our new unit. We are actively recruiting for new Reservists and will be holding a number of recruiting open days over the forthcoming months. I believe that our new training areas and the excellent opportunities available to Reservists to serve with the Royal Navy at home and abroad will encourage new recruits to join us.

“If you are looking for a challenge and are enthusiastic and ambitious you could be who we are looking for. A Naval Reserve’s role is varied but could include giving vital logistical support to ship crews, sending detailed signal information to merchant shipping or planning the landing of an amphibious task group. If this sounds like something you would enjoy I would encourage you to get in touch.”

Captain Paul Kelly, 350 Squadron Royal Engineers said: “This is great news for all our Reserves in Nottinghamshire and by bringing the three Reserve units under one roof will only strengthen our existing relationships.”

Simon Worsley, East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association’s (RFCA) Deputy Chief Executive, said: “We at the RFCA are delighted to be project managing the new renovations that will see our local Naval, Marine and TA Reserves sharing a range of updated facilities in Nottingham. The works will last around 26 weeks meaning Reserves will be re-housed in their new location by March next year.”

John Martin Hoyes Ltd, of Lincoln, have been appointed as the approved contractor to complete the project, and will work alongside the building’s designers Maber Architects.