A dedicated army of scout leaders, volunteers and mums and dads have been celebrating the opening of a new scout hut in St Neots.

The 1st St Neots Beavers were the first group to meet in the newly refurbished hut in Bedford Street on January 17 after a ??-year fundraising campaign.

At the end of the meeting, the troop was presented with a cheque for £1200 from Geoff Stevens, a member of the St Neots Rotary Club. The money was raised at a wine tasting and golf day and will pay for a carpet in the community room and storage cupboards.

Group scout leader, Keith Horn, said the project could not have been completed without huge support from the community, including businesses such as Gibbs & Dandy and Brittains and local plumbing and heating and flooring contractors, many of whom worked for free.

“We truly have a wonderful facility which will benefit not only scouting, but the wider community of St Neots as it will be offered to scout groups far and wide on an exchange basis which will be fantastic for all our young people.

The fund raising project to raise ??? was launched in ??? and building work to demolish part of the old scout hut, build an extension, a new kitchen, toilet and shower room and community room began in January last year. There were some setbacks in the early part of the building work and the group was told it would have to find another £20,000 to pay for new foundations.

John Routledge, 1st St Neots Scout Group chairman, added: “It's been a long process, often fraught with problems and setbacks, but we have finally delivered a facility that we can all be very proud of and will carry scouting well into the 21st century, I would like to personally thank everyone involved with special thanks to Teresa Cameron, our treasurer, and her sister, Vicky Fenn, for their tireless efforts with fund raising. Also the support of my family through some of the more difficult times, we still have a little way to go; the next phase will see the refurbishment of the car park and building of the new tent store. We are in the process of planning a grand reopening event later in the year so we can properly show our appreciation to those involved and invite everyone to see the new facility.”

INFO: Anyone who would like to know more about scouting or can help with fund raising or would like to use the hall, should contact: st_neots_scouts@hotmail.com or online: 1ststneotsscouts.org.uk.