Char­ity all at sea fol­low­ing short evic­tion no­tice

Bangor Mail - - NEWS -

A CHAR­ITY or­gan­i­sa­tion faces be­ing made home­less by the end of the week, de­spite calls on its landown­ers to re­con­sider.

The Min­istry of De­fence has given An­gle­sey’s branch of the Mar­itime Vol­un­teer Ser­vice (MVS) un­til Au­gust 5 to va­cate its base on Ynys Gaint near Menai Bridge.

The build­ing, which for­merly housed the Royal Naval Aux­i­lary Ser­vice, is used by the MVS in its aims of pro­vid­ing mar­itime train­ing and op­por­tu­ni­ties for those with an in­ter­est in nau­ti­cal skills.

But the group has now been given un­til Fri­day to va­cate the premises it has been leas­ing from the MoD since 1994.

Mike Thomp­son of the group, which is the only Welsh speak­ing branch in the UK, said: “We have 57 mem­bers and are the only MVS branch in North Wales.

“We meet at least once a week and some­times also train on the wa­ter.

“The Army Cadets have al­ready va­cated, but the MoD have gone back on their orig­i­nal prom­ise of serv­ing us with our no­tice eight weeks after the build­ing had been sold.

“Va­cat­ing by the end of the week, bear­ing in mind all our equip­ment, is prov­ing to be very dif­fi­cult.”

Re­gional Vol­un­teer Of­fi­cer Robert Hughes-Mullock added: “As a train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion, we have links with the Menai Strait go­ing back to 1877.

“We train young peo­ple in mar­itime skills, of­fer­ing heav­ily re­duced prices for pro­fes­sional mar­itime qual­i­fi­ca­tions for lo­cal young peo­ple and pro­vide an im­por­tant com­mu­nity role for re­tired Mariners ea­ger to pass on their ex­pe­ri­ence to a younger gen­er­a­tion.

“The news that the MoD has brought to an end 174 years of con­tin­u­ous mar­itime train­ing has come as a bit­ter blow.

“We would like to en­gage with the lo­cal com­mu­nity to help us in our cam­paign to have the MoD trans­fer this small pe­ice of the is­land to us, se­cur­ing this site as a cen­tre of mar­itime train­ing for North Wales.”

De­spite the process of mov­ing their equip­ment hav­ing al­ready started, the is­land’s AM has urged the MoD to re­con­sider.

“It would be a great shame to lose this fa­cil­ity, which pro­vides the only Welsh speak­ing mar­itime ser­vice in Wales,” said Rhun ap Ior­w­erth.

“I have asked the MoD if more time could be given to try and find a solution which would al­low the MVS to stay at this site, and per­haps to con­sider a Com­mu­nity As­set Trans­fer.

“Los­ing the build­ing would not only leave them with nowhere to train and keep their equip­ment, but would also leave a huge void in the lo­cal mar­itime com­mu­nity.”

De­spite re­peated at­tempts, the Min­istry of De­fence has not yet re­sponded to any of our re­quests for a com­ment on the sit­u­a­tion.

The Menai Bridge’s Mar­itime Vol­un­teer Ser­vice has started mov­ing out of its fa­cil­ity on Ynys Gain. Pic­tured are Ynys Mon AM Rhun ap Ior­w­erth with Giles Pep­perell, Dr Jenny Byast, David Mills, Mike Thomp­son and Hil­lary Hunt

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