A scout troop has launched an appeal to raise £130,000 for a new hut to replace their existing meeting place, which is 33 years old and in a poor state of repair.

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The 1st Eye troop, which also has cubs, beaver and explorer scout sections, has so far raised £17,000 towards the total, but is appealing for donations from the public to help reach the target, which would pay for a larger building than the existing hut in Wellington Road for the 65 children aged between six and 15 to have their weekly meetings.

Joan Norman, the troop’s group scout leader, said: “It is exceeedingly important because the old hall is very cold. We have people now who are fathers of present children who used to attend this hut when they were younger.

“It was a pretty ramshackle building to begin with and it is very bad now. It is very cold and we have to keep patching up the roof because it keeps dripping and it is not up to the required specification of a scout group.”

She said the new building the troop was looking for would not only provide more space, but also a better storage area as the beaver section was set to embark on its first camping expedition this year and therfore more room would be needed to store camping equipment.

The hut will also boast toilets and a kitchen and Mrs Norman hoped other organisations would be interested in hiring the facility.

The beavers section meets between 5.30pm and 7pm on Wednesdays, the scouts between 7.30pm and 9.15pm on Tuesdays, the explorer scouts between 7.15pm and 9.30pm on Wednesdays and the cubs between 6pm and 7.30pm on Fridays.

A series of fundraising events have been planned to help towards the appeal, including a duck race which last year raised over £4,000.

To donate to the appeal, email merlin_carr@hotmail.com.

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