The new HMS Cambria in Cardiff Bay has been formally handed over to the military to begin the fitting-out process of the Royal Navy’s sole reservist base in Wales.
The new £11 million complex – which will also be used by Royal Marines Reserves, Wales University Royal Navy Unit and Cadet Forces – replaces a 40-year-old facility at Penarth in Barry, which has been Cambria’s hometown for nearly 75 years. Its successor is barely a mile from Cardiff city centre and its location at Roath Lock, on the northern edge of Cardiff Bay, makes it much better for supporting visiting warships.
Final checks will be carried out and tarmac laid, before furniture and office equipment is delivered to equip rooms and training spaces.
Among facilities in the new Cambria are classrooms, a fitness suite, changing rooms, administrative facilities and accommodation for up to 50 people.
Captain Mark Wyatt, the Royal Navy’s Infra Capability Manager (Reserves), accepted the keys to the building with Colonel Nick Beard of the Reserve Forces Cadet Association, from constructors Morgan Sindall.
“I’d like to say a big thank to everyone involved for all their hard work, this building will make a huge difference for the Royal Navy in Wales,” Captain Wyatt said. “It has been a team effort from Associated British Ports, Morgan Sindall, the Royal Navy and Wales RFCA. The next challenge is to get the building ready for the Royal Navy move in early summer, and it certainly will be one of the crown jewels in the Defence estate.”
The numerous units using the Penarth site are due to move into the new Cambria by the end of May.