A MULTI-million pound Army Cadet base will be built in the Valley this year.

Work has started on a £5m training facility for cadets in Holcombe Moor to replace the current Ramsbottom base which has stood for more than a century.

The North West Army Cadet Force will use the new Rossendale site as its headquarters will comprise of two large buildings and accomodate 202 young cadets at weekends.

Colonel Gerry Wells-Cole, chief executive of the North West and Isle of Man Reserve Forces and Cadets’ Association, said: "This exciting new project is precisely the sort of facility that is required by an expanding Army Cadet Force.

“The current facility at Ramsbottom is wholly inadequate and outdated and this new facility will provide the youth of the North West with state-of-the-art accommodation located next door to a training area where cadet military and adventurous training can be carried out. We are delighted.”

On Sunday, more than 250 Army cadets will parade in Ramsbottom to mark the official closure of the old Drill Hall.

The parade will contain a number of veteran military vehicles, musicians from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and the ACF’s own Pipes and Band, which has close musical ties with the Band of the Scots Guards.

It also coincides with East Lancashire Railway’s war time weekend which is expected to attract thousands of people.

The new Valley facility, which should be ready by September, will also be used by other youth organisations such as the Air Training Corps and the Sea Cadet Corps.

The Ramsbottom cadets currently meet every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7pm.

For more information call 01706 824414 or visit www.armycadets.com.