Girl guiding unit unveils £750,000 HQ

Landmark: A new �750,000 building will be the regional HQ for Girl Guiding North West England
Landmark: A new �750,000 building will be the regional HQ for Girl Guiding North West England
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A new £750,000 regional HQ for girl guiding has been unveiled in Preston.

The landmark office building, off Bluebell Way in Fulwood, will provide an administration base for the organisation’s 68,000 members based in the north of England.

The project has experienced a number of setbacks since it started, including criminals stealing a set of copper pipes in January.

But the building has now been finished and preparations are being made for a grand unveiling.

The North West’s Chief Commissioner, Sue Lomas, who will be based in the building, said: “The whole project has taken about four years. We had a number of setbacks, including losing our original piece of land.

“Then we were just about to take ownership in January and criminals took all the copper piping out of the roof and smashed the windows. We were just at the point of it being ready.

“Thankfully the builders were fantastic and it only put us back a fortnight.

“We are delighted to have moved into our new headquarters. We want the building to be the focus of our work in the North West.”

The outside of the building is clad in Siberian larch.

The choice of wood acknowledges a long-term project by Girl Guiding North West England to support community leaders in Siberia to re-establish guiding in the country.

There is a small trade counter for distributing uniforms to local troops and suppliers and it is hoped the building will be used as a place where community groups can meet.

The organisation was temporarily based at the Recycling Lives centre in Essex Street, Preston, after selling its former home in Ribblesdale Place.

The cost of the sustainable building was met by fundraising over the last three years, as well as contributions from members.

It was designed by John Holroyd of Walker Simpson Architects.

Girl Guiding North West England is the leading charity for girls and woman in the country and has over 68,000 members. They run Rainbows from five to seven years old, Brownies from seven to 10 years old, Guides from 10 to 14 years old and the Senior Section, for girls and women from 14 to 25 years old.