In 2015, the Government committed £50 million to increase the number of cadet units in the UK state school sector under the cadet expansion programme. This joint Ministry of Defence and Department for Education project targets areas of social and economic deprivation, and is on target to hit 500 cadet units in schools by 2020.
The Lincolnshire Army Cadet Force does valuable work with young people, particularly the Two Squadron detachment based in Sleaford. I am delighted that so many people in the county have the chance to become a cadet, but that is not the case everywhere. Will my right hon. Friend confirm that he will prioritise the approval of new units in areas where young people do not have the opportunity to become a cadet?
I declare an interest in that I was an air cadet and an Army cadet before I joined the armed forces many, many years ago. St George’s Academy—a comprehensive school—in my hon. Friend’s constituency has expressed an interest, and we hope to give the school an indication of whether that has been approved in the autumn.