WORK has started on creating a £135,000 multi-activity centre at the home of the 1st Poulner Scouts.
Already the Scouts have raised a staggering £65,000 for the centre, which will incorporate a climbing wall, indoor archery and rifle shooting, to be attached to the Scouts’ building.
Group Scout leader Colin Andrews said the centre will benefit the whole community and not just the Scout group, which has a membership of 200.
He said the nearest climbing wall is in Wimborne, and the group intends to open the MAC to schools and local people to help cover costs, but not for profit.
The project was given a kick start with a £50,000 grant from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), with the remainder raised by the Scouts.
Scouts have been holding events such as bag packing, auctions, quiz nights, social and sports events, including a 5k race.
A spokesman said: “Phase one of an annexe to the current building will serve the group well into the future. The addition of the £135,000 annexe will give local young people the opportunity to take part in such supervised sports as archery and shooting, both of which are currently Olympic events.
“The plans don’t end with the shell of the annexe and the internal infrastructure it demands. The centre will eventually be equipped with a seven-metre climbing wall and other equipment at a cost of around £35,000.
“Fundraising is continuing in order to progress with this second phase of the project. The main hope for the centre is that it will eventually offer a wide range of activities to bring fun to life.
“At present 1st Poulner Scout Group runs shooting and archery courses during the summer. The activities room will enable these to take place all year long, at a safe and convenient location.
“These skills will help the young people of the Ringwood area develop balance and poise, a sense of responsibility, physical fitness and the mental strength to become good citizens.”
To help, contact Mr Andrews on 01425 652813 or go to 1stpoulnerscouts.org.uk.