COVID-19 UPDATE: From 17 May 2021, Scouting moves to Yellow readiness level.

HQ Barn Project

HQ Barn Project

Our two-fold goal is to build a base for our rapidly expanding Scout Group and to create a multipurpose community building within walking and cycling distance of large areas of Winchester.

Winchester City Council has agreed to grant the Group a 99-year lease of a vacant plot on Hillier Way in Abbotts Barton on which to build a Scout and community hall.

Award-winning architects, McLean Quinlan, in close consultation with 6th Winchester Scout Group, have designed an attractive yet practical barn-like building for the site.

The Barn’s design is sympathetic to its surroundings and comprises two independent halls, a well-equipped kitchen, storage, washrooms and a meeting space as well as a large outside area. The thoughtful layout will allow multiple groups to use the facilities at any one time.

The Barn will enable us to fulfil the desire of more of Winchester’s young people to become Beavers, Cubs and Scouts. It will mean that we can start an Explorer Scout group to help meet high demand for Scouting beyond the age of 14. It will allow us to nurture young people up to the age of 18 and to run a Young Leader training programme to help develop leadership skills and maintain the sustainability of Scouting in the area.

The Barn will also provide an important community focus in an area of Winchester that has been troubled by antisocial behaviour and loss of public space and where the population is being constantly swelled by major house-building initiatives.

We have built relationships with care homes and a pre-school who are interested in using the Barn. A variety of other groups and individuals including a yoga instructor, a local community orchestra, a drama school, Winchester Fit Club, an event organiser and Winchester Live at Home Scheme have expressed an interest in renting the facilities.

The Barn Project, SO23 7SU


The Abbotts Barton Community Group has worked with WCC for many years, having a presence at community consultation events and collecting feedback. One of the enduring demands from the local community has been for a modern, flexible, accessible and reasonably priced venue.

The local community is growing, with the recent addition of over 90 dwellings (mixed tenure) at Abbotts Walk and another 15 dwellings (WCC) at Hillier Way, with more WCC housing planned, some of which will mean the further loss of Open Space (Dyson Drive). The communal room at Symonds Court (off Hillier Way) has recently been re-purposed as older persons accommodation, reducing access to venues even further.

Having local and reasonably priced access to a building, and its outside space, will allow local businesses and voluntary organisations to offer services to local people (e.g. clubs for children, holiday activities, regular health and fitness sessions, lunch and social clubs for older and socially isolated people etc) and will enhance community cohesiveness and provide opportunities for people to flourish.

Jane Taylor, Abbotts Barton Community Group

The Barn would be a potential venue for Winchester Live at Home Scheme’s groups. We offer support and friendship to local older people living in their own homes; helping to maintain independent living, improve well-being and reduce isolation. We have members living in Hyde and Abbotts Barton and nearby parking is appealing. We could use the hall for our weekly senior exercise classes followed by tea and coffee. We currently run 15 weekly exercise classes in and around Winchester, they are very popular.

Carly Ratcliffe, Winchester Live at Home Scheme

Fundraising target

Chartered quantity surveyors, Baillie Knowles Partnership LLP, have prepared a cost plan which anticipates that the total cost of building and equipping the Barn will be £721,400. To date we have raised over £300,000:

We anticipate that the balance of the Barn project funding will be met by large and medium sized grant-funding trusts, smaller grant-making bodies, donations from local individuals and businesses plus fundraising initiatives at Group level combined with a crowdfunding programme towards the end of the campaign.

Once built, the Barn will be entirely self-financing. All upkeep and running costs will be met by our members’ termly subscriptions and hire fees received from other Barn users.

Put your phone down and what are you left with? Just teamwork, courage and the skills to succeed.’
Bear Grylls, Chief Scout Bear Grylls