500 guests see official opening of Melton’s new district Scout building
Hundreds of people turned out for a special event for the official opening of the impressive new £340,000 Melton Scouts campsite building.
It started with an idea seven years ago to build somewhere warm and comfortable where young people and community groups could stay all year round.
That dream is now reality at Holwell Pastures, a rural site two miles from Melton, with a centrally-heated structure where 36 people can stay overnight.
Scouts began using it earlier this year but around 500 people gathered on Sunday to see it officially opened by Mayor of Melton, Councillor Pru Chandler.
It was also named at the ceremony as Ironstone Lodge, with a plaque being unveiled by Sam Morris, the deputy chief commissioner of Scouts in England.
The other building on the Holwell Pastures site - an older traditional wooden Scout hut - is called The Martyn Turner Hut, after a former local group scout leader who passed away.
Derek Fraser, who is treasurer of Melton and District Scouts, told the Melton Times: “We had a wonderful turnout for the event with around 500 people there and we were so pleased to see so many youngsters there on Sunday.
“Everyone who came was extremely impressed by the new building - they loved it.”
The new timber-framed Ironstone Lodge is over 33 metres in length and has two large, carpeted meeting rooms, one with a projector and screen, a fully fitted kitchen, a large bedroom with bunk beds and deluxe mattresses for 32 young people, as well as two separate twin bedrooms for leaders.
The sleeping area has its own night toilets but there is also a large toilet and shower suite including accessible facilities and wet room.
The youngsters who stay there will also be able to use a climbing wall, a zip line and play sports such as archery.
Scouts, Guides and Cub groups will stay there at weekends and during weekdays it will be available for local community groups, companies and organisations to hire, with parking for up to 25 cars.
Mr Fraser added: “Last year we had around 1,800 people on site but this year I would hope it will be nearer 3,000 because it is such a good facility.
“The great thing now is the site can be used all year round by young people and adults.”