Fraserburgh Sea Cadets secure new headquarters

The Fraserburgh Sea Cadets will soon have a new headquarters following approval from councillors.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 7:00 am
Kevin Rae, of Fraserburgh Sea Cadets, outside Grampian House, the organisation's new headquarters.

The group’s application to take ownership of Grampian House on Commerce Street has been approved by Aberdeenshrie Council’s Banff and Buchan Area Committee.

The three-storey building was previously used by the local authority for a number of years but it was vacated last year, and put on the market in April. However, only one offer was received and it was “well below” the asking price of £100,000.

The Sea Cadets submitted an asset transfer request in May and proposed to use the building as its new headquarters and a community hub for other local groups.

Council officers recommended approval on the grounds that the building would only be used as a community asset.

Lieutenant commander Craig Trail told the committee that the Sea Cadets had been “in the heart” of Fraserburgh since 1943 and the asset transfer would secure the future of group “for many years to come”.

The group currently operates from Sandhaven Harbour but three different sessions have to be held per week instead of the full company meeting together at once due to the size of the building.

At the moment the group has a “strong” company of 39 cadets, a team of 18 volunteers and seven new cadets joining in the near future.

Mr Trail added that the new headquarters would help to increase the number of Sea Cadets and the building could also serve as a base for the Men’s Shed, soon to be rebranded Fraserburgh Community Shed.

It is also hoped that the Community Shed would have use of external space to the rear of the property for new workshops.

Voicing his support, Councillor Brian Topping said: “I’ve always been a great supporter of the Sea Cadets.

"The work they do is really exceptional, the young people they attract and how they shape and mould them for the future to be good citizens and doing things within the community.

"The added bonus is the Men’s Shed because that really needs room to grow.”

Councillor Mark Findlater added: “Craig and his team do a cracking job for the young folk in the Fraserburgh area, the facility at Sandhaven is just spot on and indeed is an asset to Sandhaven.

“It’s a tried and tested organisation that provides an excellent service for the young folk so I fully support the application.”

Councillor Doreen Mair, committee chair, agreed the facility down at the harbour was no longer fit for purpose, and believed the Sea Cadets and the Men’s Shed could “go from strength to strength” with their own premises.

Unit Management Team Chairman Kevin Rae said the group was “delighted” with the approval of its application.

“Grampian House will be our new home and will offer opportunities for other groups to utilise as a community hub," he said.

“We’d like to thank our community for their support, Aberdeenshire Council in accepting our offer for the property and to the Area Committee for approving the transaction.”

The Fraserburgh Sea Cadets have been trying to find a new headquarters for several years.

In 2017 the group planned to build a replacement building at Sandhaven Harbour however the proposal required “substantial investment” and was not viable due to flood defence requirements.

Earlier this year the Sea Cadets had hoped to purchase the former Buchanan Care Home but the purchase fell through as their offer was refused.