A town’s Sea Cadets corps has put out an impassioned plea to help raise up to £1million for a new place to call home.

Whitehaven Sea Cadets is working towards owning its own premises, which could cost as much as £1 million.

The group have not had their own headquarters since December 2013 when their former building on Old New Quay closed due to storm damage.

The unit’s vice chairman, David Abbott, hopes that the public will get behind them.

“If we decided to buy and convert a building it could cost around a quarter of a million pounds, or to buy land and build from scratch could be up to £1million,” said Mr Abbott.

“We know that this is a huge target and it will take a lot of time, money and effort but we will do it.”

The unit currently meets at Kent House on Carter Lane, behind Dixon’s department store but this is not a permanent solution. The hope is that the unit eventually be able to find a plot to build a new centre on, or a building they can refurbish. At the moment no suitable sites or buildings are available.

So far the cadets have raised £45,000 of their mammoth target and are about to launch a 100 club to try and extend the fundraising.

Mr Abbott said the experience that cadets get from their time with the unit is invaluable.

“They have an edge,” he added. “They learn skills they wouldn’t otherwise have had and it opens up new experiences. They get to meet new people both locally and nationally.

“We’re very grateful for the premises we’ve got at the moment but the thing is it’s not ours. It’s not permanent and we can’t make alterations.

“With our own place we could have dedicated spaces for activities and create classrooms so we could run more than one activity at a time.

“We could also open it up to other groups in the area which is something we’d really like to do.”

The 100 club is open to anyone aged 16 or over who can give £6 a month for which they’ll be given an exclusive number. There will be a draw for £20 every week and another for £120 each month.

The scheme is set to be launched next month. In the meantime one of Whitehaven Sea Cadets’ instructors is training for the Whinlatter 10k which takes place in June.

Probationary Petty Officer Alan Prince is hoping to raise £1200 to be shared between the cadets and Children with Cancer.

He says it is a long time since he did any fitness says it is a long time since he did any fitness activity so he’s looking to train himself fit. He adds that he is keen to support an organisation that gave him and other young people the skills and opportunities they might not otherwise have developed in Whitehaven.