Work starts on HMS Cambria’s £11m new home in Cardiff

Standing in front of a digger, senior naval officers and port chiefs study plans which will turn this bleak industrial site into the gleaming £11m new home of the Royal Navy in Wales.

In 18 months’ time this site, barely a mile from the heart of the nation’s capital, will be transformed into the new headquarters of HMS Cambria in Cardiff Bay, the centre for Maritime Reservists across the region.

The new building will provide state-of-the-art training and classroom suites, accommodation, administrative services, as well as social and fitness facilities for use by the Royal Naval Reserve, Royal Marines Reserve and University Royal Naval Units.

There will also be access to the waterfront and docking facilities for visiting warships.

I am excited to see this project develop – it will deliver state-of-the-art training and accommodation facilities for the Royal Naval Reserve for many years to come.

Commodore Martin Quinn RN

It replaces the existing Cambria building at Penarth and is expected to serve the needs of the Royal Navy and Reserve Forces for the next half century – thanks to a long-term lease on the new location at Roath Dock, in agreement with Associated British Ports.

Its South Wales director Matthew Kennerley joined Cambria’s Commanding Officer Commander Steve Fry, Captain Brian Thorne, chairman of the Reserve Forces and Cadets’ Association, and Commander Maritime Reserves Commodore Martin Quinn converged on the new location to study plans and watch the diggers move in to start work.

“The Royal Navy is fully committed to having a presence in Wales and today marks a significant milestone in ensuring this commitment is realised,” Cdre Quinn said “I am excited to see this project develop – it will deliver state-of-the-art training and accommodation facilities for the Royal Naval Reserve for many years to come.”

Mr Kennerley said ABP were “delighted to welcome Cambria back to the port.

“Our vast land bank allows us to support major projects, and we are delighted to be using our port infrastructure to support such an important maritime project for the region."