A new £250,000 ‘Scout hut’ has been proposed for a site in Little Bowden, near Market Harborough.
If it is approved by Harborough district planners, the timber-clad hut would be the new home of the 1st Bowdens Scout Group.
At present the Group’s 170 boys and girls meet in a 1960s pre-fab concrete centre off Rectory Lane, close to Little Bowden’s Village Hall.
“It’s not been fit for purpose for at least two years” said Scout Group leader David Sawford.
The ambitious plan calls for the existing Scout hut to be demolished, to be replaced by the improved centre with tree planting, a car parking area and fencing.
“We’re the second biggest Scout group in the county” said David.
“Our youth membership has increased by 234 per cent in the last 10 years.
“But we’re meeting in a building that isn’t suitable any more. In particular there are problems in the foundations of the building.”
David said the new building was designed by Market Harborough-based firm Corporate Architecture.
“It’s a timber-clad building to replace an old concrete one.
“We believe it’s a more attractive building that would be sympathetic to its surroundings.”
The new building would be about a third bigger than the old one.
David said the Scouts were waiting to see if the plan would be passed by Harborough District Council before finalising their plans.
But he said he expected the new building would cost around £250,000.
Scouting has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity in the last 10 years.
David said the 1st Bowdens group was “bursting at the seams”.
Nationally, Scouting is the UK’s biggest co-educational youth movement.
Each week, a total of 480,896 people in the UK are involved in Scouting activities.
Current Chief Scout in the UK is Bear Grylls, the adventurer and TV personality.
And worldwide there are 28 million members in 216 countries.
“I personally believe that Scouting has bounced back because it offers outdoor adventure and learning for all abilities” said David. “There is nothing else that does that.”
According to the Scouts’ website, the aim of Scouting is “to promote the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential as individuals, as responsible citizens and as members of their local, national and international communities”.