Leeds’ first new Royal Naval Reserve unit HMS Ceres commissioned

9 February 2016 (Last Updated February 9th, 2016 18:30)

Princess Anne has commissioned the new Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) unit, HMS Ceres, for the city of Leeds and the surrounding area.

HMS Ceres

Princess Anne has commissioned the new Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) unit, HMS Ceres, for the city of Leeds and the surrounding area.

Leeds Royal Navy Reserve unit Ceres division, and its building in Carlton Barracks, are currently serving as a satellite unit to HMS Calliope in Newcastle.

With the commissioning, Ceres will now become a fully autonomous RNR training establishment, one of only 15 full RNR training establishments in the UK.

"Today's commissioning of HMS Ceres is an important milestone in the history of the unit."

After being decommissioned in 1995 in the wake of the Options for Change restructuring programme, HMS Ceres served as the RNR unit for the city of Leeds and the surrounding area, housing 80 reservists from Yorkshire.

The reservists have been deployed with the Royal Navy to Afghanistan, Iraq and the Gulf. They have lent their support to anti-piracy operations off the Horn of Africa, and have supported the security effort at the London Olympics and Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Around £600,000 was invested to remodel the existing building, occupied by the sailors at Carlton Barracks, on the northern edge of Leeds city centre.

Minister for Reserves Julian Brazier said: "Our naval reservists are an integral part of the UK Armed Forces, and have served on operations right around the world, from counter piracy operations in the Indian Ocean to service in Iraq and Afghanistan, to assisting in disaster relief in the Philippines.

"Today's commissioning of HMS Ceres is an important milestone in the history of the unit, and our investment in the facilities in Leeds will see them go from strength to strength."

As part of the redevelopment, a new two-storey wing and an accommodation block with a provision of new training and classroom facilities and 12 permanent bed spaces has been added.

Following the commissioning ceremony, the original ship's bell from HMS Ceres was presented to the commanding officer, lieutenant commander David Noakes.

The artifact earlier was on display at HMS Raleigh, which will now be moved to the refurbished HMS Ceres.

Earlier this month, the UK's Tyneside Royal Naval Reserves shelter HMS Calliope has neared completion of a £3.1m renovation programme, which will house the reserves from RMR Scotland (Tyne Detachment) under the same roof.


Image: A view of HMS Ceres. Photo: courtesy of Royal Navy.