The south Birmingham branch of Willmott Dixon Partnerships came to the aid of 100 year old Bartley Green Scout Hut, in Lutley Grove, after an urgent appeal for assistance upgrading the tired facilities. A team of volunteers transformed the former World War I army barracks into a ‘fit for purpose’ centre by refurbishing the toilets, creating a disabled cubicle, constructing a new pathway with railings for improved disabled access.
They also redecorated the hut throughout and constructed a new outdoor barbeque area for the Scouts to practice their cooking skills and songs around the campfire. To cap it all off, Willmott Dixon then arranged for a group of painting and decorating students from South Birmingham College to gain ‘hands on’ experience and add the finishing touches by repainting the building’s weather worn exterior.
Over 50 cubs and scouts use the facility for a range of adventure activities and it is hoped that the improvements will allow the long established Bartley Green Scout Group to open its doors for an increased number of local youngsters and generate revenue for the group.
Group Scout Leader Andrew Hitch said, “The building has been used by the Scouts since the 1950s but interest had noticeably dropped off recently because the building looked almost derelict, and it was putting people off. We had also been forced to transfer a couple of disabled users to a different Scout group because we didn’t have the necessary facilities to accommodate them. It just wasn’t fit for purpose at all and there was talk of knocking the building down and starting all again before Willmott Dixon offered to help, which would have been very costly and disruptive for the children. They’ve really performed miracles here and we are very grateful for all their support and the work they have performed.
“The children put lots into the Scout hut, and the local area, and it’s fantastic that they have been able to get something back from it. We’ve started to receive interest from other groups in the local area who would like to use the building now, which will allow us to re-invest the generated revenue back into the building. The improvements have delivered benefits for the local community and will help to ensure the future of Bartley Green Scout Group.”
Richard Freeman, Willmott Dixon’s local Customer and Community Officer, added, “We work closely with Birmingham City Council to identify improvement projects in the area which could deliver real benefits for their tenants and other local residents. When the Lord Mayor of Birmingham City Cllr John Lines approached us and asked for assistance with the scout hut we were keen to help, and thrilled when the company agreed to fund all of the improvement work.”
Willmott Dixon Partnerships is currently working with Birmingham City Council to repair and maintain 60,000 properties in the city. It’s two contracts for the north and south of the city includes the areas of Edgbaston, Hall Green, Northfield, Selly Oak, Ladywood, Erdington, Perry Bar and Sutton Coldfield. It aims to reduce the cost of this service by £47m over the five year terms of the two contracts.