Ribbon-cutting ceremony for new scout hut with ‘wow factor’

6th November, 2019

Scouts, their leaders and loyal supporters finally celebrated the official opening of a “smashing” new scout hut, following an epic, 12-year campaign.

The 8th Christchurch Burton Scout Group’s former HQ was demolished last year due to its dilapidated state but thanks to £186,000 worth of donations plus fundraising, the scout troop now has a permanent new home,  

Pro Vision architects secured planning consent and advised on the replacement building in the corner of Burton Recreation Ground at Martins Hill Close.

The prefabricated, single-storey structure is built to the latest standards with disabled access, toilets, kitchen and full insulation. Measuring 20.4m x 13m, it features modern timber effect cladding, double glazed windows and roller security shutters.

There were specific challenges such as building close to, but outside the flood zone, necessitating a raised floor level and site-specific space limitations, including not damaging oak tree roots despite providing a larger new scout hut.

Graham Markwick, group scout leader, said: “It’s a smashing new building which we’ve been using for a few months now. It is big, it’s airy and it smells nice – unlike our old hut, which was cold and damp. Our new building has got what I would term a ‘wow factor.’

“It will make a huge difference.  We now have a purpose-built meeting place that is warm and inviting and will give more young people the opportunity to join the troop, have fun and learn valuable skills.”

Pro Vision associate director Chris Fry’s involvement with the project stretches back to 2011 when a previous planning permission for a dual use, part-shared building with neighbouring football club AFC Burton was in danger of lapsing. After renewing the consent, Chris, an architect, prepared a fresh design for two separate buildings, approved in 2014.

“The original design of a single, conjoined building was always going to be problematic. The new design allowed both groups to fundraise certain in the knowledge of getting their own dedicated facility,” said Chris who lives in Christchurch.

  “Ultimately, the scouts have been successful procuring funds to build first – but not without a significant change to the design. A prefabricated building was the preferred choice as it could be purchased with the monies raised, so we went back with a varied application.”

Meanwhile, AFC Burton hasn’t given up on its plans for a new clubhouse. Indeed, Graham has offered to help fundraise. Chris said: “It’s quite the saga, not finished yet but one down, one to go!”

Veolia Trust, Christchurch Rotary and the Talbot Village Trust were major contributors towards the new scout hut with donations also coming from Burton Parish Council. Bournemouth Airport Community Fund, Foyle Foundation and the National Lottery.


To see the coverage in the Dorset Chamber of Commerce website please click here: https://www.dorsetchamber.co.uk/scouts-lift-off-with-bournemouth-airport/