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Joy as new Northallerton HQ for Scouts and Guides opens with important assistance from ABLE

A project to reunite Scout and Guide groups in Northallerton has finally come to fruition, resulting in a major new community facility in North Yorkshire’s county town.

After many years of fundraising, a lengthy search for an appropriate site and delays inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic, Northallerton Scout and Guide Group formally opens its new headquarters on Saturday 4 September.

The opening honours will be performed by North Yorkshire Scouts’ County President Jo Ropner, who is also Lord-Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, as well as Peter Stephenson, founder and Executive Chairman of key supporter Able UK.

Built on a site next to County Hall, opposite Northallerton railway station in Boroughbridge Road, Peter Stephenson House is providing a new home for several groups which had been scattered around various venues for several years.

The smart new facility is also proving popular as a venue and meeting place for various community groups, businesses and other organisations.

Scouting and Guiding in Northallerton is more than a century old. For 50 years children met at wooden wartime huts in the town’s Malpas Road. Since they were sold in 2015 to help fund the project for a new base the various sections, including Rainbows, Beavers, Brownies, Cubs, Guides, Scouts and Explorers, have had to meet at separate locations in the area.

Teesside company the Able Group played an important role in raising funds for the project and has contributed more than £240,000.

Able Group Executive Chairman Peter Stephenson said: “The Scouts and Guides have a long and proud history in the Northallerton and surrounding area and many thousands of young people have benefitted over the years.

”Northallerton Scout and Guide Group had been working hard over a number of years to find a suitable site and raise the funds for the project and, when we were approached, we were delighted to provide the support to move into a brand new home.”

Group Scout Leader Duncan Wallace said: “We are extremely grateful to the Able Group for this very generous funding – it helped us to complete the project and to include additional environmentally-friendly features such as air source heating.

“We always hoped this great new facility would benefit as many members of the community as possible – not just those in the Scouting and Guiding families – and that’s exactly what has happened since work was finished last summer.

“Although the pandemic has delayed some activities, including our formal opening, we are so pleased to now finally be able to show it off and welcome more people in, including everyone who has supported the project and given so generously over the years.”

After a low-key formal opening ceremony on Saturday morning, an open event will be held from 1-5pm enabling everyone to take a look at the new facility. Refreshments will be available, and appropriate COVID-19 safety measures will be taken.

Please don’t try and park on the site – visitors are asked to use the County Hall car park and make their way along the new path beside the playing field.

Groups and individuals interested in hiring the new facility can check availability and find out more via the online booking calendar page.

Able Group Executive Chairman Peter Stephenson and Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire and County President of North Yorkshire Scouts, Jo Ropner at the opening of Northallerton Scout and Guide Group’s new headquarters on Saturday being presented
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