BUILDING work on the replacement Scout and Guide headquarters in Burley-in-Wharfedale started this week - as another fundraising push is made.

The new building on Peel Place is eagerly anticipated and will replace the current headquarters which, as well as having wet rot and a few leaks, has no insulation and poor heating. The kitchen is too small, limiting the scope of some activities, and the toilet facilities are poor.

The new headquarters will be on the same site as the current building and include better car access and parking. Its layout will reflect current requirements for modern day Scouting and Guiding, and allow more flexible use.

Sue Vint, Guiding District Commissioner said: “It’s fantastic that we are starting to build the new HQ, very exciting! It will make such a difference to our youngsters and leaders once we have a larger, modern, adequately heated building."

The current scout and guide hut building was erected in 1968 when the population of Burley was just 2,800. Today Burley has a population approaching 9,000, yet the Scout & Guide hut has remained substantially unchanged.

With over 300 young people taking part in Scouting and Guiding in Burley-in-Wharfedale on a weekly basis and 100 more on the waiting list, the new headquarters are much needed.

The fundraising campaign has raised almost enough to construct the building, but is still short of the final sums to complete the project. Bryan Collins, chairman of the Group Executive Committee said: “Since we obtained planning permission for a replacement HQ in October 2015, we have raised over £210,000 towards the construction of the building which is a tremendous achievement by all involved, and I would like to thank all those who have supported us in any way to date."

The Group decided to proceed with building the structure, to take advantage of a good fixed price, and protect against future inflation. Bryan added: “Our urgent need is to close the funding gap of £35,000, to construct the building, without having to take loans. Once the building is up we need to fit it out and then demolish the old building and improve the road area where it once stood, requiring a further £150,000. When it comes to fitting out, Tim Greenbank, our local builder, will allow voluntary help and material donations towards that phase, which should considerably lower the cost.”

A programme of fundraising activities is planned throughout the rest of the year, including the traditional firework display and Santa float. The group is keen to hear from any companies or individuals wishing to support the project. For more information, contact our website

• For more information, please visit: