Works to upgrade a cadet centre in Chelmsley Wood, Birmingham, have been completed by our Estates team to improve the cadet experience. The cadet centre was once home to the 1459 (Heart of England) Squadron Air Training Corps who moved offsite in an amalgamation with another unit, this newly formed unit of 2504 (Fordbridge) Squadron will be the ones to benefit from the refurbished facilities. This joint cadet site also houses the Chelmsley Wood Detachment of Warwickshire and West Midlands (South Sector) Army Cadet Force, who will also benefit from improvements made to the site.

Before works

The outside of the cadet hut, brown and weathered, before works started. Broken fence surrounding the cadet centre.

The project is part of the Reserve Estate Optimisation Programme which aims to modernise and create efficient centres to benefit the Reserve Forces and Cadets, meeting the requirements of today’s centre users.  The centre forms part of the volunteer estate which is managed by the RFCA’s Estates team on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

The improved centre will help to enhance the cadet experience for current young people in the community and for future generations of cadets and volunteers.

Our Building Estates Manager for the South Region, Richard Cameron, designed and project managed the scope of works with the support of contractors, Contech Construction, to revamp the tired centre into an appealing and functional space.

Improvements at the centre include new LED lighting and UPVC windows to increase the energy efficiency, modernised decoration, refurbished interior rooms, and repaired exteriors to increase weather-proofing and longevity. Fire doors and fire safety equipment have also been upgraded to ensure compliance with the latest health and safety standards.


Outside, new fencing has been installed to increase security, encroaching vegetation has been removed from the parade area, and existing concrete slabbed pathways were lifted and reinstated to eliminate trip hazards. External emergency lighting and floodlights have also been upgraded to enhance safety and reduce the site’s energy usage.

During works

External view during works, sowing scaffolding and skip, with contractors working on the roof. During works, main room inside with building equipment in place.







James Bellamy, Head of Estates at West Midland RFCA, said: “This refurbishment has provided a great facility and a new lease of life to an old unused Cadet hut. It optimises the estate better, making better use of a freehold site and removing a leasehold site which were located close together.  I am really pleased with the design and styling to provide a fresh look and feel for existing cadets as well as an attraction to others.”

Flight Lieutenant Robert Maher, the Officer Commanding for 2504 (Fordbridge) Squadron added: “We feel incredibly fortunate to have this significant investment in our Squadron’s future and look forward to the opportunities presented by it. The refurbishment has provided an up-to-date and modern feel which will no doubt reflect in the morale of the Cadets and staff for years to come. Thank you!”

Our Estates team at West Midland RFCA are responsible for the management of the volunteer estate, which includes the upkeep of some 30 tri-service Reserve centres and 115 cadet centres on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. This includes essential maintenance and repairs, lease negotiations, disposals and acquisitions, as well as implementing a robust inspection regime to ensure that we meet our Health and Safety obligations.

Additionally our Association has designed and project managed multi-million pound builds and full refurbishments of both Reserve and cadet centres. Find out more about the role of our Association.

Completed works

External view of building once works completed. Looking clean and new with a black exterior. Main internal room with works completed. looking brand new with a blue and white decor.










Published 18/06/2024