Companies across the region rallied round when Wallasey Sea Cadets set out to raise £33,000 to replace a century-old central heating system at their New Brighton headquarters.

Dame Lorna Muirhead set the ball rolling with a donation followed by grants from the Lord Leverhulme Charitable Trust, The Hemby Trust and The Bernard Sunley Charitable Trust.

Further deals and concessions were offered by companies in the heating industry before a major grant in the form of a Biffa Award allowed the Sea Cadets governing body to finish the heating system and to renovate the area where the old system has been removed.

Ian Calder, the unit’s vice chairman, said: “Now that this project has been completed, fundraising never stops. Apart from our running costs, cadets’ courses and training, we have started again to raise £30,000 to refurbish the exterior brickwork and stonework and also £24,000 to refurbish our boathouse, providing more space and improved facilities for our cadets.”

Dame Lorna, the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, was a special guest at the unit’s recent Open Evening.

The Sea Cadets moved to their present headquarters at St James Hall in Victoria Road, New Brighton in 1985 and a boathouse at Poulton Quay, Wallasey was bought in 1997 with a local authority grant.

More than 40 Sea Cadets and Royal Marine Cadets aged 12 to 18 regularly attend, making it one of the biggest and most successful units in the North West.

The unit is managed by 24 staff and a management committee of 10.  The is also a parents and friends association which helsp with fundraising and activities.  All adults do the work on a voluntary basis.