WALKING into Knutsford’s Scout hut, hidden away on The Moor, you get a sense of why groups have had to abandon it.

It’s a cold day outside and somehow colder within, where the smell of damp fills your nose and the darkness in the activities’ room make it feel like a museum, frozen in time. In effect, it is.

For decades, leaders have yearned for new facilities. As early as the 1950s, it was agreed that a new hut was needed, but renovations on the 1910 building were preferred. The same story in the 1970s.

Only in recent years have full plans for the hut’s demolition and rebuild come to light, paving the way to a modern space where the community’s youth organisations can thrive. Planning permission was granted in 2015.

But the build is expected to cost around £200,000 and the current total stands at just half of that.

“I remember the first time I was inside the building, I died a death,” project coordinator Michele Hammond recalls. “I had a voice inside my head – ‘you cannot be serious’. The state of it meant that it should have been demolished in the ‘60s.

“But my eye was also caught by the trophy cabinet and the sense of history. It was built in 1910 – the history is everywhere.”

Neither were the mixed impressions lost on MP Esther McVey, who visited in January. She said: “Whilst the sheer history of the building is apparent as soon you walk through the door, so is the fact that it is no longer fit for use.

“The leaders do a great job using the space for a Scout group that continues to grow, but they are battling with a venue that is long past its best – be it due to the inadequate heating and insulation or the challenges the building presents in terms of safeguarding our young people. They could do so much more with a new building.”

Since taking on the challenge, Michele has encountered dozens of setbacks and miles of red tape, but her enthusiasm remains.

Plans for the proposed new hut – compiled through generous donations of time and materials – shows how the limited site could cater for children across town, not least through modern comforts such as Wi-fi and heating.

Esther, who has suggested a number of avenues to explore, hopes the town can back the scheme at this crucial juncture.

She said: “I was delighted to meet the hugely enthusiastic team behind the fundraising efforts. I was also impressed by the local businesses who have donated time to get the plans to this stage at minimal cost to the group.

“There is clearly a need now for one final push to raise the remaining funds and to get the building under way. I am really hopeful that there are some larger businesses in the town that would consider supporting the venture.

“All the uniform organisations provide a great way for our young people to make new friends, spend time outside and try new things, in a safe environment so I am really hoping that 1st Knutsford can attract the final funding they need.”