Work has begun to transform a former warehouse into a new headquarters for the Stonehaven and District Sea Cadets.
The formal ‘ground breaking’ ceremony took place last week at the site, near Stonehaven Harbour.
The ceremony was carried out by Carol E Kinghorn,lord-lieutenant of Kincardineshire, to start the redevelopment.
This represents ‘phase one’ of the project which will create a wind and water tight envelope with a new ground floor, addition of new first floor and stairway within which the internal fitting-out classrooms; kitchen and dining area; toilets and showers, and disabled access and lift can be completed as further fundraising continues.
The Stonehaven and District Sea Cadet Unit (SDSCU) has already raised £250,000 to complete phase one.
The former warehouse was purchased ‘many years ago’ but the SDSCU by funds raised and an investment loan, which was paid off in 2011.
A further £250,000 is required to fully complete the project.
The SDSCU was formed in 1954 and the Ship’s Company comprises 44 cadets and a staff of 17 volunteer instructors.
Andy Lawson, principle of the cadet’s current training centre, said: “We are a charity that gets little or no support from the Navy.
“We have got about 45 cadets now. The problem is the building we are in is owned by the council and we can’t afford to maintain and upkeep it as a charity since we don’t own it.”
“The thought was we’d go forward and invest in our own building.”