Stevenage Sea Cadets launch £10,000 appeal to help fund relocation
PUBLISHED: 08:30 02 August 2019
Stevenage Sea Cadets has launched an appeal to raise £10,000 to help pay to move to new premises, claiming the group is being forced out after almost 60 years due to a regeneration of the area.
Stevenage Sea Cadets first moved to its current location in Fairlands Valley Park in 1962 and has remained there ever since.
The community group offers a range of activities for children aged 10 to 18, from sailing, windsurfing and powerboating to rock climbing, camping and music.
Officer in charge, Andrew Smith, said: "We offer opportunities to young people in all sorts of training and activities which may not be readily available in everyday life. There's even the opportunity to obtain B-Tech qualifications and the Duke of Edinburgh Award at a reduced rate. It's a great opportunity for youngsters to get out and do something."
But Andrew says Stevenage Borough Council's plans to regenerate the area do not include accommodating any of the current community groups located within the park.
He said: "The building we are in is extremely old and is very costly to maintain. As a charity we don't have the funds to fix it, so a few years ago we reached out to the council to ask them to help us and do something with the building.
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"We were told that, with the redevelopment, there are no plans to include the community buildings - so that's the scouts and day nursery too.
"Our lease ran out nine years ago and it has been a stagnant situation since then, but we recently asked the council for an update and in a meeting we were told the plans were imminent and we would need to have new premises in place within 18 months to two years."
Councillor Richard Henry, executive member for children, young people and leisure at SBC, said: "Our community development team has now made contact with the sea cadets, in order to better understand what challenges they are facing.
"This council is committed to meeting the needs of the town and the communities based in Stevenage. We appreciate the valuable impact community groups such as the sea cadets and the scouting movement have on the local area and look forward to working with them to help with their long-term sustainability and accommodation needs."
Andrew says the cadets have been looking for alternative accommodation, but do not yet have the funds in place to facilitate the move.
Stevenage Sea Cadets has launched an appeal to raise £10,000 to help fund the move, kit out the new premises and carry out any necessary redesign to meet the group's current needs.
To make a donation, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/stevenagescc.
If you can offer alternative accomomodation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.