Local businesses to be asked to help Longridge guide hut dream come true

Members of Longridge Guides, Brownies and Rainbows are celebrating a milestone moment after plans for their new meeting hut got the go-ahead.

By Fiona Finch
Wednesday, 11th March 2020, 6:00 am
Design for the new Longridge Guide hut by PSA Design
Design for the new Longridge Guide hut by PSA Design

The groups, which have been fundraising for the project for the last five years, pledged to continue raising cash.

But they also now need the help of local businesses and the community to turn the dream into reality.

Ribble Valley Borough Council gave planning approval for a much needed replacement hut on Irwell Street after plans were submitted detailing how the existing guide hut is “draughty, cold, damp and mouldy” and “no longer fit for purpose”.

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Guide leaders who have helped with fundraising. Mel is pictured (centre)

District Commissioner Mel Braithwaite said “We were ecstatic - for us it’s been a pipe dream to rebuild this hut. The next thing is for us to carry on fundraising and apply for grants.”

She revealed £25,000 has already been raised towards the project with events ranging from film nights to Christmas fairs. She said: “We’ve a disco this weekend and there’s a fund raising sleepover planned for the summer.”

Around 150 children and young people attend the Longridge District groups which comprise two Guide units, two Rainbow and three Brownie groups. There is a waiting list to join and Mel said the new facility would enable more to be enrolled.

The existing hut, thought to be an ex World War 1 army hut, opened in 1934.The new hut will be located in the town’s Conservation Area and will sit on the same footprint as the current hut. It will mean the site will become more accessible. The plans include: a multi purpose meeting area with roof lights, W.C./changing rooms meeting new mobility standards, a new kitchen and store area.A ramped access, new level waiting area and raised patio area are included in the design. The building will be finished with timber cladding.

Four Longridge guides pictured on a special trip to Sheffield last October to attend the Big Gig

A report prepared by PSA Design said: “The new building will enable the continuation (well into the next century) of the Brownies and Girl Guides Longridge, providing a safe, accessible and comfortable environment for guides to meet...The prefabricated wooden huts were designed as temporary structures, easy and quick to erect to house troops during WW1.”

Graham Sanderson of PSA Design, which donated its services for the application, said: “We hope for the support of local businesses. It’s going to be everything from materials to construction.”

Anyone wishing to help should contact Graham.

The Longridge guide hut which is to be demolished