WORK to create a community facility that will house two scout groups is taking place in north Durham.

The £315,000 project on Constance Street in Consett is expected to be completed by July and will be ready for youngsters to start using by September.

The land on which the old hut stood was donated by the 1st Consett group for the new headquarters and 1st Blackhill contributed £80,000 brought in from the sale of their premises and fundraising activities.

The project has also caught the imagination of the local business community which has rallied round to give support.

Chairman of 1st Blackhill Scout Group, Mark Swinney, said: “We have reached a very exciting point for the development and are now looking forward to getting into the building.

“In spite of difficult economic times we have been bowled over by the generosity of local businesses.”

Milbank Architects donated their time to design the new building and the scheme received cash donations from Quantum Pharmaceutical, Morrisons and McVickers Electrical.

Howdens has donated a new kitchen, MAC Security has offered to supply and install the alarm system and Forster’s Television and Electrical are helping with electrical goods.

The groups have received a grant of £50,000 from the Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation while Durham county councillors Owen Temple and Clive Robson have each awarded £30,000 from their neighbourhood budgets towards the new facilities.

The centre will be used by up to 200 Consett and Blackhill children aged five to 18 who attend Beavers, Cubs and Scout groups as well as Explorer Scout groups for older teenagers.

Groups will use the centre most evenings, but the centre will be available for use by community groups, such a toddler groups and job clubs, during the day.

Mr Swinney added: “This will be a milestone in the history of scouting in the Consett area and we would like to celebrate the opening of the building in style.”

Members of the scout groups are organising ongoing fundraising and more information about the project can be found at

The groups are also appealing for help with the second phase of the project to kit out the centre with furniture, internal fittings and materials as well equipment for young people.

To get involved call Mr Swinney on 07815-730436.