LOCAL community groups are to benefit from a major upgrade to a scout hut after funding was approved by Teignbridge councillors.

The authority’s ruling executive has agreed to use up to £175,000 from developer contributions to fund improvements to the existing Highweek Scout Hut, located near Newton Abbot, which will be available for public hire.

The works include an extension of the building, installation of a new larger kitchen, new accessible toilets and showers, a separate meeting room, insulation and energy efficiency improvements, and car park resurfacing.

Highweek Scouts will manage the project and will be putting £15,000 of their own money into it. Once complete, the building will then be used by the scouts and made available to other groups via a legal agreement to ensure ‘convenient and affordable hall hire.’

A decision on the project was deferred last month in order to receive agreements from local community groups.

Recommending approval, a council report said: ‘The project is considered to be the best existing option for delivering improved community facilities within the Highweek area.’

Local councillor Phil Bullivant (Conservative, Bradley) agreed. ‘It’s a welcome investment in the facilities within Highweek,’ he said. ‘The people who’ve been consulted are all in agreement with it.’

Cllr Bullivant added: ‘I encourage you, given that this has been an ongoing project for six years, to recognise this is a fantastic opportunity for Teignbridge to demonstrate its support for the people of Newton Abbot, particularly Highweek.’

The council’s portfolio holder for planning, Cllr Gary Taylor (Lib Dem) described it as a ‘very good scheme that’s going to support the local area.’

It is not known when work will begin, but it must start before March 2025.