Eco-hut fundraiser gears up for its second phase

PUBLISHED: 10:28 15 November 2007 | UPDATED: 13:01 04 May 2010

SCOUTS and guides in Soham are entering the second phase of a massive fund-raising drive for a new all-purpose eco-hut on the recreation ground. The groups have joined forces to raise more than £14,000 in less than eight months for a new facility next to

SCOUTS and guides in Soham are entering the second phase of a massive fund-raising drive for a new all-purpose eco-hut on the recreation ground.

The groups have joined forces to raise more than £14,000 in less than eight months for a new facility next to the existing Pavilion.

But in spite of the amount of money raised so far, the groups are still well short of their £300,000 target. At a Guy Fawkes Night event last Friday, a donations bucket did the rounds, but big investment from local business is needed, say scout leaders.

Plans for the hall include a climbing wall and eco-heating, using a new technique of bore holes drilled deep into the ground. Rainwater will be used for the toilets and solar panels will be installed on the roof.

Cub leader Max Paines said the eco facility would not only help young people learn about the environment but also bring in extra cash in the form of green grants.

It is hoped East Cambridgeshire District Council will also help out with a one-off grant. Scout leader Colin Brook said £150,000 had been ring-fenced in the community services budget from East Cambridgeshire District Council but this has not yet been confirmed.

"The two current guide and scout huts are in a sorry state," said vicar Tim Alban Jones, who is throwing his full weight behind the project.

"Our own hall has been standing empty but this one is used by so many people from all over the area."

Mr Paines said: "The sites are used by over 150 children from the local community every week. They have already raised the £14,000 themselves with help from their adult leaders through events like sponsored silences, cake stalls, china smashing and donations.

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