SEA Scouts have ‘scaled back’ huge plans for a new headquarters after failing to secure even a tenth of the amount they needed.
The 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts had been trying to raise £1million to build a new headquarters next to the leisure centre in St Nicholas Park. They also wanted to raise an extra £500,000 to demolish and replace the current hut and develop a new open air boatyard.
But the group has so far fallen well short of their target, and raised around £140,000 in the two years since the plans were approved.
In a bid to less than half the cost of the project, the scouts now plan to build a smaller hq and refurbish their current hut instead of knocking it down and rebuilding.
They will also build a boathouse next to the current hut. The new works will cost a total of £700,000.
Scout leader Ian Walton told the Observer: “Fundraising for the new project has been under way for some time, but it is proving difficult to get people to commit the large sums of money that we need.
“Recognising how hard it has been to get this far the group has already submitted a planning application amendment which sees the new hq reduced from two stories to one which has reduced the total cost significantly
“We are using the money we have already got to start the work on the boathouse this year, allowing us to free up the old sailing club early and return it to parkland for all to enjoy.”
Warwick District Council agreed to the plans but say the scouts will need to prove they have the money to pay for the work throughout all stages of the development.
They have agreed to them working on the boatyard and riverbank while continuing to fund-raise for the new hq and refurbishment of the hut.
The group – which is Royal Navy recognised – provides opportunities and water based activities for some 150 children and young people and as such as has outgrown its hut in St Nicholas’ Park where it has been based for more than 55 years.
They believe developing the facilities would ‘significantly’ increase the group’s membership and provide activities for young people in the area.
Mr Walton is now calling on residents and businesses to continue to donate towards their plans.
He said: “We are very grateful to those who have sponsored us to date, have committed money to the project or are helping us out in other ways, but we really need a principal sponsor who is wiling to commit a significant amount to the project to get us where we need to be. We would even consider naming the centre after them.”
And along with donations the group are also looking to expand their number of volunteers.
Visit www.2wk.org.uk to donate and visit 2wkrecruiting.org.uk to find out more about volunteering.