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Scouts in a Row

For over 35 years South East Berkshire District has run a Scout Shop from Coopers Hill, sadly the shop is closing at the end of this Summer term.

As a District Executive Committee this has been one of the hardest and most difficult decisions our District has had to make.  A huge heartfelt thanks to Margaret, Allan and the team, who have done a great job at the shop for so many years at Coopers Hill and more recently over these last couple of years running the shop from their homes.  All funds raised from the Scout Shop are invested back into supporting both South and South East Berkshire Scouting. From 2014 to 2021 the dividends from the Scout Shop to the groups totalled £7,874, this averages out at around £1,100 per year.

The decision to close the shop is 100% a financial one, as our District Executive has always been very supportive of continuing to run the shop which is very much cherished by our members.  Unfortunately, the costs and terms of new premises offered to the District by Bracknell Town Council are not viable.  To be fully transparent, we always knew that our Scout shop’s time at Coopers Hill would one day come to an end, but had always been promised that the Council would find us a suitable alternative property.

We started engaging with the Council in 2020 and identified a new location at Braybrooke.  The District invested considerable time in visiting this new location, exploring all the set up and running costs.  The new shop would require an investment of over £10,000 by the District, which given the low profit margin on most items, would not have covered the costs over the 7 year lease term.  It was only at the start of this year that the District identified a concern about the terms of the Council’s proposed lease on this new building and that after 7 years we could be given notice to leave with no recourse or way of recovering our investment.

Unfortunately, this means the lease that the Council offered is not financially viable to set up and run the new Scout shop at Braybrooke.  We have gone back to the Council, sharing our costs to run the shop during their proposed 7 year term and explained that the District would lose money on this investment.  At an extraordinary District Executive Committee meeting held on 2nd April, with Allan and Margaret, we sadly came to the decision to formally announce the closure of our District Scout shop.

Margaret and Allan have kindly offered to run the Scout shop until the end of this Summer term from their own homes.  All orders need to be placed by the 11th July.

We would like to thank everybody who has been involved in this emotive topic and special thanks to the Shop team who have helped so many young people get their uniforms, badges and equipment over the years.

Thank you for your understanding in this matter,

Steve Richards (District Commissioner) & Dale Kipp (District Chairman)

South East Berkshire Executive Committee

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South Berkshire District Scouts

Sandhurst, Crowthorne, Owlsmoor, Wokingham Without, Bracknell, Royal County of Berkshire, RG12 7QS

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