SCOUTS in Witney said they were “very pleased” to receive a £2,500 grant this week, but admitted their fundraising attempts have been slower than anticipated.
Witney Buttercross Scout Group submitted plans last year to convert the Stable Barn building, which stands opposite its headquarters in Marlborough Lane, into a state-of-the-art hub.
The new base will provide Witney’s three Scout groups, four Beaver colonies, three Cub packs and one unit of Explorers – totalling 263 members – with much-needed extra space. There would also be a new room upstairs to practice outdoor skills, an indoor and outdoor climbing wall and a new roof installed.
It took the group six years to raise the £110,000 to buy the building from Barclays Bank, but they still need £200,000 for the conversion.
So far a total of £35,000 has been raised and chairman of the group, David Eaton, admitted it was tough raising the funds. This was despite the £2,500 grant from the Witney Town Hall charity fund.
Mr Eaton said: “It’s been slower than we would have liked, but we are doing research into grant-making bodies.
“You’ve got to have some money in the bank as otherwise some grant making bodies won’t support you. We will apply to the West Oxfordshire District Council for a grant fund.”
Group scout leader Andrew Stokes said he remained confident the Scouts could move into their new home by late 2015.
Mr Stokes, 43, added: “We are hoping to get a bigger grant from the West Oxfordshire District Council.”
To find out how to get involved in fundraising, see witneyscouts.org