Our group HQ is in desperate need of replacement as the original buildings, some now over 50 years old, are dilapidated with eroding concrete, failing wiring, damp, poor heating and inefficient use of space. Most importantly the roofs are asbestos sheeting which must be replaced.
We own the buildings but lease the compound in which they are situated from Fleet Town Council. In 2016 we agreed a new 30-year lease for the grounds and our ideal goal would be to completely rebuild safe, modern facilities to support the continued growth of local Scouting for at least this timeframe. This would also allow us to make much better use of the existing footprint, design in improved disabled access and support a wider range of activities.
Our own group has 210+ children who use the buildings extensively for their weekly activities. We also support the wider Scouting district (1,000+ young people) and the local Girl Guides movement with events like camping, archery & air rifles. A redeveloped facility could also support daytime activities for preschools and other community groups.
Why Do We Need Funding?
The estimated cost of a full rebuild is £350,000 and, as we own the buildings, this must be entirely funded by our own group at our local level. There is no national scout funding for capital projects. We have been saving money for the last 10 years in anticipation of this project and have a fund of approximately £80,000. All our children are currently engaged in personal fund-raising but, nevertheless, we cannot expect to reach the overall target in a reasonable timeframe without major institutional donations.
You can link to our donations page on Virgin Money Giving here:
What Are The Timescales?
Our ‘wish’ is to tackle the redevelopment in the next 2-3 years. However, this is dependent on the final design scope and the project funds being fully in place. As a charity ourselves we cannot incur any debt or borrow money.
What Do We Want?
Our main drivers for a new building include the following:
- Replacement of the roof
- Retention of the two halls layout
- Integration of the camping stores to the main building
- Improved storage
- Section lockers
- Table & chairs store
- Improved disabled access
- Better layout and access for toilets and kitchen
- Addition of a wet room
- Permanent hot water supply
- Projection & screen facilities
- Permanent shooting range
The group has engaged professional architects, e.francis architects ltd, prepared initial plans, gained outline planning permission and we are currently seeking tenders from structural engineers to provide more detailed plans. These plans will then be used to obtain quotes for the building work.
Unfortunately, COVID put paid to all our fundraising efforts after February 2020 and, as a result, we are now a year behind our target of raising the necessary money within the next two to three years. However, the Core Team have been working away in the background and we are now stepping up our efforts in 2021 with the introduction of the Rebuild Badge for the young people to work towards through their own fundraising efforts and by getting involved in Group organised events. We will also be making bids for funds from charitable foundations and organisations such as the National Lottery. We are compiling a list of funding sources and will be making approaches to as many of these as possible over the next year or so.