WORK has started on a new home for Scouts, Beavers and Cubs in Stockbridge.

The youngsters, part of the 14th Andover (Stockbridge and District) Scout Group, used to meet in an old wooden hut.

It was taken down two months ago (March) to be replaced by a modern, warmer and drier HQ built from bricks.

Youngsters came along to watch the start of the project, which is due to finish in October.

It is expected to cost £182,000 and, once open, will be available to community groups too.

The project is being funded by several backers. It includes the Maisie Kent Trust, set up in her memory to support community and youth activities in her home town.

It has awarded £28,000, while a grant of £50,000 has come from the Veolia Environmental Trust through the Landfill Communities Fund.

A further £10,000 has come from the Star Energy Fund and £5,000 from the South East England Development Agency.

The Scouts also raised £19,000 through magazine deliveries, barbecues, car boot sales and cake baking.

Several charity events including Jazz by the River and a Hamper Ball and Auction compered by Jim Davidson also played their part.

Dr Rebecca Ferris, who chairs the scout group, said: “It is great to see the start of work to build the new HQ. Stockbridge, like many small rural communities, has very limited facilities for young people. Once complete, it will be a focus for events and activities for them, as well as the wider community.”

Executive director of the Veolia Environmental Trust, Margaret Cobbold, said: “It is always good to hear that a scheme we have supported has got underway. I look forward to seeing the completed building being used and enjoyed.”