THE Express and its readers are to be honoured as a new Divisional Scout HQ in St Annes rises from the ashes.
Building work on the new structure is to start next week and a dormitory room within it is to be named after the Express and its readers in recognition of their sterling fund-raising efforts.
The sparkling new building will replace the previous HQ which was destroyed by fire just over a year ago after standing on the Heyhouses Lane site for more than 40 years.
But the Scouts need one more grand fund-raising effort from the Fylde’s generous folk to make sure that the headquarters is the very best that it can be.
When insurance money and the contributions of Express readers and other generous contributors to the Scouts HQ appeal over the last 16 months are combined, the Scouts have some £420,000 available to spend on the project.
“But we envisage it will cost £495,000 to be built as we would ideally wish it to be, so we are looking to raise another £75,000,” said Geoff Currie, chairman of the fund-raising committee.
“Work is set to start next week and we hope to have everything up and running by early next summer.
“The project can be adjusted if we don’t manage to raise the full amount but we are building for the future here and we feel this is the ideally opportunity for a divisional headquarters ideally suited to the 21st century.”
Fylde Scouts have long traditionally hosted groups of young people from all over the country and the new HQ will provide accommodation for 50 percent more people than was the case previously - 60 compared to 40.
New features will include a wet room fully equipped for the disabled, while the kitchen facilities will be vastly extended and improved and a conference room will have two and a half times the capacity of its predecessor and will be openly available for hire to organisations and individuals.
The building work is being carried out by Wrea Green-based J Wareing and Son and the plans have been formulated to allow for expansion, via the addition of extra facilities on the second storey if required in years to come.
“We are so grateful to the Express, its readers and everyone who has contributed so far and are very much looking forward to the work beginning,” said Mr Currie.