CADETS from Stokesley Army Cadet Force are planning to go on a recruitment drive after celebrating the opening their new £400,000 centre.

The new building was paid for by the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association for Yorkshire and The Humber (RFCA YH) and replaces the cadets’ previous base, a nearby temporary building that had become old and dilapidated.

Commanding officer, Colour Sergeant Emma Torres has been checking out the new facilities with five of the ten cadets who regularly train there.

The group – Hal Weastell, aged 14, Holly McCosh, aged 14, Beth McCarthy, aged 15, Will Weastell, aged 17 and James King, aged 14 – are pupils of Stokesley School except James who is home-schooled.

The 32-year-old combines her role as a cadet force adult volunteer with a job as a delivery driver. She said: “Our old base was cold, damp and miserable so it’s really lifted our spirits to have a purpose-built centre with proper classrooms and facilities. It already feels like a real home from home.”

The unit had over 20 cadets until recently when a number all reached 18 – an age when they have to leave – around the same time.

She added: “We held off recruiting more cadets until we were up and running in our new centre but we’re ready now and look forward to new recruits joining us.

“We tend to attract the sort of young people who like to do something productive with their time and enjoy the outdoors. It’s lovely watching them develop and grow in confidence during their time with us.”

RFCA YH Chief Executive Jason Wright said: “We’re delighted the Stokesley unit is now able to enjoy the fantastic facilities of the new centre. The old base had fallen into disrepair so it was more cost effective to provide the cadets with a purpose-built base from which they can begin to expand and welcome new recruits.”