Refurbishment progressing at historic Army centre in Northampton

The Clare Street Army Reserve Centre in Northampton
The Clare Street Army Reserve Centre in Northampton

Work is progressing with the renovation of Northampton’s Clare Street Army Reserve Centre.

The refurbishment aims to give the building’s interior a make-over and bring it in line with the standard of other training facilities around the region.

The East Midlands Reserve Forces and Cadets Association (RFCA) is leading the renovation project, which includes the centre getting a new drill hall floor, new office spaces and a new staircase. The association will also be making sure general maintenance and redecoration works are completed to a high standard.

Martin Capewell, head of estates at East Midlands RFCA, said: “We are delighted to be completing the much-needed maintenance works at Clare Street Army Reserve Centre, which is a Grade II listed building.

“The current drill hall floor, where much of the reservists’ training is completed, was originally laid in the 1960s and its surface is now uneven.

“We are planning to install new flooring in this area as well as open up the ceiling to reveal some original beams. This will increase the amount of natural light in the training space and give the area a much more open feel.

“We are also in the early stages of renovating numerous corridors, staircases, offices and the officers mess which can be used for formal meetings or social activities.

“The works are currently running on time so we hope the overall project will be complete by autumn this year.”

Clare Street Army Reserve Centre, is headquarters to the 104 Battalion and 118 Recovery Company, both of which are part of the British Army’s Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers (REME).

Soldiers and officers employed within the REME are the technicians and mechanics that consistently inspect, repair, modify and maintain the large array of equipment that the Army uses.

The Clare Street centre was built in 1859 following the 1852 reform of the country’s militia to provide a secure and defensible store for the local regiment.

The decorative barracks, built in a gothic revival style, were intended to act as a focus of local pride and to assist in filling the regiment’s quota of recruits.

The drill hall was in around 1880 to provide space for drilling in wet weather.