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This exciting and unique project has moved a step closer to realisation following the completion of the feasibility stage design work. The images below show the proposed ship building in the context of the site.

Initial design images of the land based ship.

Background information on the project can be read in our previous blog [SCSC Blog]. This includes the design approach of modelling the building on the new Royal Navy Type 26 frigate, currently under production at BAE systems in Glasgow. Designing a building to replicate a ship is challenging and the feasibility stage design work explored how this could be realised. There is the obvious need for buildings appearance to reflect that of the real frigate, as much as feasible, but also how to satisfy the client’s spatial and use requirements. To meet this the design needs to allow a range of activities for the cadet unit, future proof the long term goals of the facility, plus accommodate the wider community use as project intends to serve as an assist to the local area.

The site location is important in regarding its position in Sutton Park, with the immediate surrounding area a designated National Nature Reserve (NNR) as well as the west of the site being of Local importance to Nature Conservation (SLINC). The proposed design locates the new ship building to the east rear portion of the site, in the similar location to the current ship to be demolished. In doing so this addresses the existing boat storage buildings to be retained and also minimises disturbance to the wider site. As the design is developed the proposals will need to sensitively address both the historic and nature conservation site context.

Budget constraints are always particularly challenging with such a project and the Sea Cadets are currently undertaking stockholder meetings as they push to facilitate funding to allow the design to be developed and become a step closer to reality.

Elevational comparison of the port (top) and bow (bottom left) design of the new land based ship building v the actual Type 26 Frigate

Site Plan

Ground floor 3D plan view

Ground floor plan

First floor 3D plan view

First floor plan

Sea Cadets is a self funded charity based on naval values, providing both ashore and afloat activities and adventure and qualifications and aim to guide children in to young adulthood. If you would like to find out more or are able to support raising funds for the new facility and community project please contact the Sea Cadets direct on or visit