Building works have started in Richmond to give a community scout building an upgrade.

The Mayor of Richmond upon Thames helped put a spade in the ground to mark the first step in the ‘New Phoenix’ Scout Hut and Community Building project at Douglas House Meadow.

Over the past few years Petersham and Ham Sea Scouts community have been raising money to create a new scout hut and boat deck to make their current building fit for purpose and adding disabled access.

Cllr Lisa Blakemore, Mayor of Richmond, said: “This facility will bring together families from across the borough to support our young people in their personal development and encourage them to make positive contributions to their communities.

“The building will also serve as a community centre, providing more space for our local community groups, volunteers and schools to use as well.

“The Sea Scouts have done a fantastic job to get to this point. I wish them all the best and encourage our residents to support them as they move into the next phase of the project”.

The new building will provide a larger, energy efficient, eco-friendly space and install hot showers so Sea Scouts can use the water all year round and a nearby sports field will benefit from easier disabled access.

There will also be more space for storing camping equipment and boats to allow more beavers, cubs and scouts to join the troop.

The first phase of the build saw ground broken to create a cycle stand area, before construction starts on the main building in Autumn 2018.