A CAMPAIGN is underway to raise almost half a million pounds for Winchester’s scouts.

Planning authorities have given the go ahead for a replacement building at their Weeke Down site and with £50,000 secured already, they must now find an additional £400,000.

The 2.5-hectare site is owned by Winchester District Scouts and serves eight groups, each with its own Beaver, Cub, Scout and Explorer sections for different ages.

Existing structures at the Pinsent camp will be demolished and replaced with an energy-efficient amenity block built from sustainable, recycled and locally-sourced materials.

“We are thrilled that our application for the new building at Pinsent camp has met with full approval. Many years’ hard work from a range of people – volunteers, officials, and professionals – went into the proposals, and we owe a debt of thanks to all of these,” said Winchester District Scouts chairman, Richard Mendelsohn and district commissioner, Stephen Parker, in a joint statement.

There are more than 800 Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorer Scouts across Winchester and the Pinsent site has a scouting history dating back more than 80 years. The site has been used by Winchester District since 1931, when it was shared with a scout troop from nearby Winchester College.