THE Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, officially unveiled the ‘magnificent’ new Joint Cadet Training Centre at Blackhill Lane in Knutsford.

Mr Briggs opened the centre at a ceremony which was attended by Tatton MP Esther McVey and the Mayor of Knutsford, Cllr Peter Coan.

Mr Briggs said he was delighted to officially open ‘this magnificent Joint Cadet Training Centre’, and Ms McVey described the occasion as an ‘outstanding and quite spectacular day’, and said the centre was ‘a wonderful addition’ to the local area.

Knutsford Mayor Peter Coan said: “What a wonderful achievement to attract so many young adults to the organisation. It was a perfect day and a proud day. Well done to all.”

The chairman of the Knutsford and District branch of the Royal British Legion said: “We were delighted to re-affiliate to both 2056 (Knutsford) Squadron Air Cadets and 14th Normandy Detachment Army Cadets.”

The new Joint Cadet Training Centre was funded by the North West Reserve Forces and Cadets Association, and has been built on the same site as the former wooden centre.

“The old building was very outdated, and did not really fulfil the requirements,” said Officer Commanding, 2056 (Knutsford) Squadron Air Cadets, Pilot Officer Mark Hughes.

“The new building has disabled toilets, a canteen with fridges, IT rooms for cadets, store rooms, a staff room and large lecture theatres.

“We also have a floodlit parade ground, and have the facility to have an indoor air rifle range.

“The new centre was completed about 12 months ago, and has made a massive difference.

“There has been a steady increase in new cadets and people on the waiting list, and we are planning to have a recruitment drive very soon targeting young people and going to Knutsford Academy.”

The programme for the official opening event involved an inspection of the cadets, the unveiling of the official Joint Cadet Plaque and the presentations of awards.

The Greater Manchester Wing Air Cadets Band provided music throughout the day, and the guests, which included parents, enjoyed light refreshments which were provided by the Joint Cadets units.