Scouts lift off with Bournemouth Airport

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Scouts in Christchurch were flying high at the official opening of their new scout hut with supporters including Bournemouth Airport.

The 8th Burton Group held the celebration to mark the completion of its £186,000 purpose-built hall at Martins Hill Close.

Bournemouth Airport was among the main supporters of the group’s fundraising appeal with a £10,000 contribution from its community fund.

Tim Etches, Bournemouth Airport’s Operations Director, joined in the celebrations when Christchurch Mayor Lesley Dedman and Scout Group President John Downer cut a ribbon to declare the hut open.

Tim said: “Congratulations to all at the 8th Burton Scout Group on the opening of their superb new hall.

“Bournemouth Airport considers itself very much part of the community and we were keen to support the tireless efforts of the group in raising such a tremendous amount for their new hut.”

The 8th Burton Group – including beaver, cub and scout packs – launched a fundraising drive when its hut reached the end of its useful life after 48 years of service.

Members of the pack, friends, family and supporters held events and enlisted the support of local organisations during an epic 12-year campaign.

Pro Vision architects advised on the replacement building at the corner of Burton Recreation Ground.

The new hut includes double-glazing, timber-effect cladding, insulation, a kitchen, disabled access and toilets.

Group Scout Leader Graham Markwick said: “It’s a smashing new building and will make a huge difference.

“We now have a purpose-built meeting place that is warm and inviting and will give more young people the opportunity to join the troop, have fun and learn valuable skills.

“Our sincere thanks go to Bournemouth Airport and everyone else who has supported us in some way.”

Guests from other organisations and individual supporters also attended the celebration at the hut as well as beavers, cubs and scouts.

Pro Vision associate director and architect Chris Fry first became involved the project in 2011. Planning permission was gained in 2014.