THE case for Isle of Wight cadets to continue to use Newport Drill Hall has been put forward by a joint delegation to armed forces minister Andrew Robathan.
MP Andrew Turner, chairman of the Isle of Wight Council Ian Ward, and Territorial Army (TA) reservist Tony Marvin met the minister on Tuesday.
The meeting, organised by Mr Turner, followed an announcement in early July that 38 TA bases, including Newport, were to close and Isle of Wight reservists would be transferred to a mainland unit.
It led to fears that 200 cadets, who jointly use Isle of Wight TA facilities, would lose use of the Drill Hall.
Mr Turner raised the issue in the House of Commons and received assurances from Defence Secretary Philip Hammond that the changes should not affect the cadets’ use of the facility.
In a statement issued by Mr Turner following the meeting this week, Cllr Ward, a retired Major, said: "I felt we put forward a very strong case.
"We pointed out the lack of alternative facilities on the Island and the time and expense that would be involved in travelling to the mainland.
"We have a vibrant and enthusiastic cadet force on the Island and we were able to give the minister plenty of detail about how often those youngsters use the hall and what they use it for.
"I was very pleased that the minister confirmed that Jersey Camp will remain open; it is an important facility and also very well-used.
"We have reinforced the point put by Andrew back in July and supported it with plenty of hard evidence. I am very hopeful of a positive result."
Tony Marvin, who was an army officer and more recently, as a regular reservist completed three tours of Afghanistan, said: "It is very sad that we currently have only 13 Island-based Territorials, who, because of the nature of the unit travel, to the mainland to train.
"The minister explained that with the planned locations of the new Army Reserve we would need to have many more potential Territorials before a separate unit would be viable."