Setback hits installation of huts for Bognor scouting HQ

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A NEW era for scouting in Bognor Regis has suffered a setback.

Two portable buildings which will make up a new dedicated headquarters for scouts from across the area were due to be installed on Tuesday.

The buildings arrived at the site in Central Drive, which is also home to the 11th Bognor Scout Group, but unforeseen circumstances meant a specially-hired crane was unable to lift the scout’s new home into place.

District chairman Richard Beckett said: “We had everything in place and we were all ready to go.

“The crane, which was about 72 tonnes 
arrived but when it started to back onto a concrete platform, the concrete cracked.

“This meant that the crane was unable to be moved into position so the buildings could be lowered.”

The buildings, which started their lives as car showroom offices for Renault, had travelled up from Peterborough earlier that day.

“It was a disappointment, but it won’t stop us.

“We will now go away and arrange for some more groundwork to be done,” said Mr Beckett.

The intended building will be used as the Scout’s Bognor district HQ and, for two hours a week, as a shop.

It is hoped the building will become a focal point for scouting in the area.

Ally McCaffrey, the Bognor Regis district commissioner, said: “This has been a dream for a long-time.

“To have a building big enough to accommodate all the scouts when we want to get together for a big event will be fantastic.

“We have six separate scout groups and probably about 600 members, so we struggle to find a hall big enough for us all.”

The new building will be constructed on the same site as the original scout hut which was almost 100 years old.

After they have been put together, the new buildings 
will create one structure, which will measure 9.6m long, 2.8m high and 6m wide.

It will be just smaller than the building which used to be there.

By the time it is finished it is expected the project will have cost around £35,000.

A grant from West Sussex Scouts for £5,000 has been received, and some £10,000 was also given from Bognor Regis and Bersted councils.

The rest of the money has been raised by the Scouts tireless fundraising over the last two years.

Planning permission for the new building was received from Arun District Council last November.

On Saturday, some of the youngsters who will make use of the new facility when it is finished will take to the seafront for a walk with a difference.

Some 500 young people of all ages are expected to take part in the Bognor Bimble.

The fundraising event will start at 1.30pm.

There will be three check points along the route which will stretch from the Aldwick end of the seafront to the Felpham end.

For more information on scouting in the area visit www.bognorscouts.org.uk/