New campaign to raise £200,000 for historic Scout hut revamp

Group Chairman Alan Simpson and Tony Walberg, Cub Leader, together with Annabel, Will, Theo and Thomas in front of the stone Scout hut in East Rigton.
Group Chairman Alan Simpson and Tony Walberg, Cub Leader, together with Annabel, Will, Theo and Thomas in front of the stone Scout hut in East Rigton.

First Bardsey Scout and Guides Group is launching a major £200,000 fundraising campaign to renovate its decaying historic stone hut.

The building in East Rigton, which dates back to the early 1920s, is in desperate need of revamp.

Due to its ageing facilities, it is currently only used by the Cubs and Beavers, while the Guides meet at Bardsey Primary School.

But once the refurbishment, which also includes plans to expand the hut, is completed, the group will be able to share the building.

Group chairman Alan Simpson, from East Keswick, said: “We’ve ambitious plans to renovate and expand our hut to offer more exciting activities for more local boys and girls of all ages.

“It is a beautiful old building given by the Bramham Estate to the Scout and Guide movement in the early 1960s.

“It is still being used by the local Beaver and Cub groups but is in desperate need of renovation and redevelopment - to the tune of some £200,000.”

Mr Simpson stressed that the building’s history would be protected and the work would be in-keeping with its surroundings.

“We want to keep the existing building in tact because of the history and posterity.

“We want to expand in a specific manner using some of the materials to create a new hall that will be fit for purpose,” he 
said.

The building, on Rigton Green, just off Wetherby Road, will provide the perfect base for a new Scout pack launching in September, aimed at boys and girls aged 10 and
over.

Mr Simpson said: “The group has been without Scouts for a number of years but thanks to Tony Walberg, the Cub Leader and now new Scout Leader, we are able to restart the group as from September, with the first intake coming from the current Cub pack.

“We can promise exciting times ahead.”

The fundraising drive will launch at the group’s forthcoming Summer Fayre at Bardsey Sports Club on Sunday, August 30.

Mr Simpson said: “We’ll be asking all residents and businesses in Bardsey, East Keswick, Harewood, Collingham and East Rigton to make a donation so we can cement the future for Beavers, Cubs, Guides and Scouts in our community for generations to come.

“Plus we’ll be introducing a ‘Buy a Brick’ programme where we will record your family or company name onto our giant wall plaque to be hung in the new building for eternity.”

Through these initiatives, and a number of other fundraising events and activities, the chairman is confident that the ambitious target will be reached.

“We’ve got a good team of people behind us to take this forward and make it happen,” said Mr Simpson.