A Borders scout group aiming to completely refurbish its hall is celebrating its appeal being bolstered by its biggest donation to date.
A £9,760 payout from the National Lottery’s Awards for All Scotland scheme will help Lauderdale Scout Group fund improvements to its hall, enabling it to be used more by the wider community.
Group leader Andy Beaumont says the funding has been instrumental in getting the renovation works, which began earlier this summer and are still ongoing, off the ground.
“This is the biggest grant so far, though,” he said. “The total costs of works is going to be over £10,000.
“It’s a good way to get it back on its feet. We have had the roof repaired, the floors refurbished, new lights and new heating, too.
“The roof was the biggest problem, there was quite a lot of damp to sort out.
“The next job for us involves opening it up to the wider community and we’ve already held public meetings to help us decide what we need to do next.
“So we’ve one more floor to do and a second room to turn into a multi-function room and quiet area.”
The group were gifted the West High Street building, formerly a church hall, from the Wilkinson family back in the 1960s but gave it over to the community in the 1980s.
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It was extended 30 to 40 years ago to include separate toilets and a small kitchen and store, but fell into disrepair. For the last eight years, the group has been working with the Lauder Youth Trust to bring the building back to a renewed glory and today it is also used by a playgroup and the town’s historical society.
Andy added: “As the Scout Group grew from 13 members back then to over 150 boys and girls today, we have been working with the trust to buy the building back. We were successful in doing so just over a year ago.”
“Between the Cubs, Scouts and Beavers there is something taking place every week night in the hall. We also set up the Explorer section last year so they now use it on Sundays too.”
Further funding, including £2,000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help fund and £600 from the Cooperative Store’s community fund, as well as duck races and car washes organised by the group, have also contributed to the refurbishment.
This grant is part os the funding body’s latest £794,384 handout to 115 different groups across Scotland.
A National Lottery Awards for All spokesperson said, “This is National Lottery money in action, reaching into communities across Scotland making a real difference to the people who live there. The 115 groups receiving funding today showcases the range of projects that can be funded through this programme and the difference that the smallest amounts of money can make.”
To apply for funding visit: www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/awardsforallscotland or phone 0300 123 7110.