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1st Knaresborough (Castle) Scout Group

Harrogate & Nidderdale District Scouts, North Yorkshire

The Story So Far

In early 2019 the group was contacted by Harrogate Borough Council, they told us that the land that our hut was on was being requisitioned and was to be turned in to a graveyard. This was shocking news as the group was forced to move from its previous location to make way for a swimming pool only fifteen years ago! At that time the group had to do alit of fund raising to build a new hut. This was achieved and the hut has served may beavers, cubs and scouts very well for the last fifteen years. The hut is in a great central location, with ample parking and enough land for occasional camping and outside activities. Although it requires general maintenance this hut is in great condition and would have provided many years of service into the future.

Several immediate questions arose:

  • How on earth could we find a new piece of land in a decent location?
  • Could we ever afford anywhere with the land prices in Knaresborough?
  • Why were we being expected to move after such a short period of time?
  • Would we be able to fund raise again after such a short time?

Needless to say, there were many angry voices that could not understand why a voluntary organization that does good work for the youth of the community were being placed in such an invidious position, without any further options from HBC.

After several feelers were put out by members of the group we were presented with the possibility of a joint venture with King James Schools upper school. They had a former agricultural building that was not being used to its full potential. This could be a possible win -win for both parties with a shared usage agreement.

At present the exact terms are yet to be decided but the plan is for the scouts to use the building at evenings and weekends and the school to have access during the day. This would mean that the school gained extra resources for their large number of pupils and the scouts get a new hut with shared running costs. The hut would be available to hire by other groups such as martial arts or dance groups, which would be another great resource for the town.

Where are we now?

At the moment we have plans drawn up and a number of different costing options. It looks like we are going to have to raise in the region of £250 000 for the refurbishment. We still need to agree terms and finalise details. Planning consent has not been applied for.

How do we raise that kind of money?

£250 000 for a local Scout group is a lot of money! We will certainly need strong guarantees that we will not be moved on in 15 years!

Many local groups have expressed interest in lending a hand:

  • Knaresborough Lions
  • Knaresborough Rotary Club

Some local businesses have already done a lot of pro bono work, without which we would not be able to consider this development.

  • HACS construction group
  • Covance - Detailed plans of the prospective new hut.
  • Northern Planners Ltd - Planning advice.
  • Walker Morris LLP - legal advice on the exisiting lease.

We are very grateful for the strong community spirit displayed by the people that run these organisations. We look forward to working further with these groups and other like-minded organisations to help build a decent future for the youth of Knaresborough.

Grants, Loans & begging letters.

We will be applying to the heritage lottery fund, Sports England and many other grant agencies and charities. We will be appealing to local businesses that may have community funds and looking into Developers section 106 agreements. If you have experience of funds or grants that we could apply for we would be happy to hear from you.

Blood Sweat and Tears!!

The Beavers, Cubs and Scouts will all be doing their own bit to raise as much money as possible.

How to get involved?

If you have experience in building management, design or you work for a company that could help us with materials we would love to hear from you. We will require fittings and furnishings, a new kitchen, alarm and entry systems, glazing and doors.

  • You can Donate directly here
  • You can buy your Amazon stuff through Our smile page here
  • You can Support our Knaresborough bed race team
  • You can follow our progress here Youtube
  • You can help by attending our fundraising events see calendar….

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If you'd like to contact us for more information, you're able to help us with fundraising or you have a skill that could be benefiticial to us, we'd love to hear from you.

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1st Knaresborough (Castle) Scout Group
Scout Hall, Wetherby Road, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, HG5 8LG

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