WORK on a new Scout Hut for Peebles could begin later this summer after an unexpected windfall.

The Peebles pack, which is the largest in the whole of the Scottish Borders, was recently left with a £10,000 hole to fill after only being granted half of their financial request to the town's Common Good Fund committee.

But this week they were celebrating around the campfire as local health spa boss Steve Winyard offered to cough up the required cash.

The current 105-year-old Scout Hall has fallen into a state of disrepair.

The Stobo Castle Health Spa surprise comes just a month after a similar sized donation was made to Bonnie Peebles for a planned statue to showjumper Scott Brash.

Peebles Scouts treasurer Susan Brown is delighted the new hall dream is about to be realised. She told the Peeblesshire News: "This pledge from Stobo Castle is a great boost for us and the Group are extremely grateful to Mr Winyard and the team at Stobo Castle for their support."

A huge fundraising effort had seen the group raise almost £130,000 towards the cost of a replacement hall at Dean Park.

Further fundraising and a loan from the Scout Association was expected to take the total to over £173,000 – just £20,000 short of the required amount.

An application for the outstanding balance was submitted to Peebles Common Good Fund at the end of May.

But members would only agree to meet half of the request due to budget constraints.

This week's announcement will allow a tendering process to begin.

Susan added: "We are on the brink of commencing the work and are in the process of receiving quotes in order to appoint a contractor. "

Fundraising for a new hall has been ongoing for almost a decade.

And in recent years the 166-strong Scout pack has been forced to use alternative accommodation due to safety concerns.

Jenni Watts, marketing director for Stobo Castle, believes the Peebles Scouts are worthy recipients of the donation.

She told us: “The Peebles Scout Group have done a fantastic job and have worked tirelessly to raise an incredible amount to date.

"As Stobo Castle takes great pleasure in helping many local charities and good causes we were delighted to pledge our support and help them reach their target.

"The project will provide a much needed facility which will benefit many in the town.”

Stobo Castle Health Spa also announced a major investment programme this week (see Page 7).