Scouts set to get new base

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A SCOUT group will soon have a new headquarters after thousands of pounds in funding was secured.

After 10 years of endless campaigns and fundraising by the 1st Great Eccleston Scouts, their efforts they have been given a boost with a £75,000 grant from the Rural Development Programme for England to help them reach their target.

Scouts and Beaver groups both use the current hut, which despite being worn out has been kept in a safe condition by builders in the community.

Over the last three winters it has been without a fully functioning boiler or toilets, but bag packing in supermarkets and car washing continued to get to the £100,000 total needed to build the new headquarters.

Scout Leader Steve Thompson has praised the efforts of everyone involved in getting the money together.

He said: “I was surprised and delighted when we got the news.

“We have made numerous applications in the past, but it has been difficult to get the money because of the area we are in.”

A start on pulling down the Scouts’ current hut was due to be made this week, ready for the new hut to be built

Once the build is complete it will offer a modern meeting place for the various community groups using the building,

Mr Thompson added: “We have been raising money for such a long time and our hopes have finally been realised.

“I think the boys have been very conscious of the fact they have been in a very poor building for a very long time and this will be an attractive proposition for all our clubs.”

Nancy Preston took over as chairman of 1st Great Eccleston Scouts two years ago and was influential in securing the grant.

Mrs Preston completed the 140 page application form and spoke to representatives of the awarding body about what the club offers the community.

She said: “It’s been amazing how much the community have backed this. The older boys are delighted because the building is in a very bad state of repair.

“It had burst pipes over the last two Christmases and we had to put anti-freeze in the toilets to stop the water freezing.”