News | Lottery bid for Gilwell Park heritage centre

Heritage Centre

The Scout Association is pleased to announce plans to build a new heritage centre at national headquarters, Gilwell Park. The new facility will enhance the visitor experience, and will house precious items from Scouting’s history that tell the story of the Movement.

The heritage centre will be externally funded, with construction expected to be completed in 2020, pending planning approval. The most striking feature planned by architects Tate Harmer is a colourful canopy, stretching between the complex and a new, 15-metre high clock tower in Camp Square. This has been inspired by Scouting’s proud history of sleeping under canvas, and will be festooned with Scout scarves to represent Groups across the world who are all a part of this amazing global Movement.

Over 2000 adult members contributed their thoughts about the heritage centre during the consultation process in 2016. Their feedback strongly suggested that the membership has the desire to access the stories, artefacts and history of the Movement: 91% of members surveyed said they would be interested in visiting a Scouting museum. Over 30,000 Scouts visit Gilwell Park annually, and it is hoped that the new visitor centre will boost numbers even further, and bring Scouting to more people than ever.

The new complex will be home to the Heritage Collection, and will help to preserve items ranging from the first delicate fabric Scout badges, hand-sewn at the turn of the century, to Baden-Powell’s green caravan, presented at the 3rd Scout Jamboree in 1929, for future generations. Visitors from the UK and overseas who come to the spiritual home of Scouting will, for the first time, have access to the collection, along with a new heritage trail around the Gilwell Park site.

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