Saturday marked the beginning for Consett’s new scout “hut”.
The old hut in Constance Street was pensioned off by British Steel in the 1960s when it was no longer fit for their purposes – use as the draughtsmen’s office – and had been increasingly unsuitable for twenty first century scouting. Eventually it had to be condemned and 1st Consett Scout Group were homeless, currently making use of a local Church Hall. Meanwhile 1st Blackhill Scouts who had sold their former HQ some time ago, and had been unable to find a replacement home within their budget, were also operating out of a church hall. Let’s hope it was a marriage made in heaven, because armed with some money in the bank from the Blackhill Group, and a prime plot of land from the Consett Group, what had at first looked like a pipe dream now looked like a real runner. Their decision to work together made me all the keener to get behind them along with the other councillor for Consett North, Clive Robson, because a facility used by two groups is a much more efficient use of resources, and only full utilisation can justify the level of investment involved.
Both councillors having been able to allocate £30,000 from their “Members Neighbourhood Budget” allowance, the two groups, working together, now have enough to build the hut and make it weathertight. They still have plenty to do to complete the task, but are able to get on with asking local business and charitable bodies for the wherewithal to fit it all out. I understand that already they have offers of an alarm installation, a kitchen, and a shower – so if there are any other local firms who’d like to offer their help I’m sure the scout groups would love to hear from them.
This will be no “hut”. It will bring to Consett what will be one of the finest scouting facilities in the North East and I’m really delighted to have been able to play my part in making that possible. Young people have been scouting in Consett for one hundred year. One last push should ensure the future for the next hundred years.