Fraserburgh Sea Cadets launch appeal to raise £220,000 for new home

An ambitious fundraising campaign has been launched by Fraserburgh Sea Cadets in a bid to raise £220,000 for a new headquarters.

Thursday, 14th January 2021, 7:30 am
The former Buchanan House care home has been identified as an ideal base for Fraserburgh Sea Cadets, who are now fundraising to buy the property.

The group is seeking to buy the former Buchanan House care home, which closed around six years ago, and believes it will provide the ideal base, allowing it not only to secure its future but to expand its operation.

It hopes former cadets, businesses and the wider community will rally round to support the popular organisation which has had such a positive influence on thousands of young people in the area over the years.

Craig Trail, Fraserburgh Sea Cadets commanding officer, believes Buchanan House would be perfect for training, residential stays and use by other community groups, such as the Men’s Shed organisation which has committed to coming on board.

And it would allow the group to double the number of cadets on its books from the current 30 to 60.

Craig said: “I was actually looking for a house of my own when I came across Buchanan House up for sale. The property isn’t really suitable as a house, but for what we want it for, it would be ideal.

“There are small rooms which could make officers’ classrooms, an area for a main drill hall and dorms for overnight stays. There’s a dining hall and we’d look to create a cafe area with vending machines.

“With a larger building we would be able to increase the number of cadets to 60. We’ve always got a long waiting list, so this would allow us to offer places to more young people. We’ve already got enough boats and equipment at Sandhaven Harbour to be able to accommodate a larger number of cadets.”

The move to bigger premises would allow the organisation to take on more cadets.

Fraserburgh Sea Cadets is looking to secure grants to help meet the costs of purchasing the property and adapting it to meet its needs, but it also needs to be able to demonstrate that it has the support of the community to access funding.

As well as seeking donations from individuals, organisations and businesses, the group is aiming to launch a number of fundraising initiatives over the next few weeks.

Fraserburgh Sea Cadets was established in 1943, and is recognised as one of the top sea cadet organisations in the country.

Many lifeboat crew members and fishermen are among the thousands who have enjoyed the training and activities offered by the sea cadets, enabling them to learn life skills such as teamwork, respect, loyalty, self-confidence, commitment, self-discipline and honesty.

Its current base at Balaclava Quay was built in 1971 at a cost of around £2000. It was expected to last around 30 years, so as well as having been outgrown by the organisation, there are a number of issues with the building itself.

The B-listed Buchanan House building would offer greater scope for the group to grow and also safeguard the historic building in the heart of Fraserburgh which would otherwise likely fall into disrepair.

To find out more about the fundraising campaign, visit Fraserburgh Sea Cadets on Facebook, and to make a donation click here.