HUNDREDS celebrated the launch of Keighley’s new Low Wood Scout Activity Centre.

They gathered yesterday (Sept 23), at what used to be Riddlesden Golf Course.

Among those present were members of Beaver, Cub, Scout and Explorer Scout groups, together with leaders, sponsors, civic dignitaries, fire fighters, police and other guests.

Included in the activities laid on for the youngsters during the afternoon, were a climbing tower, kayaking and bell boating, crafts, outdoor survival skills, target shooting, grass sledging, laser tag, axe throwing and archery.

There were cakes and refreshments inside the revamped main building – formerly the golf club house – and a barbecue. The sign on the property was unveiled by Mark Stageman, county commissioner for Scouting in West Yorkshire.

Scout leaders said they were delighted with the centre, which is now open for youth groups and other community-based organisations. They thanked the sponsors and volunteers who contributed to the project.

Keighley district scouting commissioner Jeanette Young, said: “I can’t thank our sponsors enough. They’ve been brilliant, and it’s amazing how many people have come together to help.”

Scouting district vice president Ken MacKenzie said: “This is here all year round for the whole community, with an emphasis on youth.

“Putting it together has taken 12 months. We had a lot of work to do, including putting in a water treatment works, which Yorkshire Water were very helpful with.”

Geoff Priestley, one of two site caretakers alongside his wife Joan, said: “Our next major job is sorting out two derelict cottages, which will be turned into a bunk house.”

Keighley East councillor Doreen Lee said: “This is the best thing that could have happened to the old golf club. What it’ll achieve for children in and outside the district will be wonderful.

“Jeanette and her team have been fantastic. They’ve worked hard through the mud and rain.”

Lord Mayor Cllr Zafar Ali added: “It’s an excellent facility and a great asset for Keighley, which I’m extremely proud of. The money that’s been put into it has been so worthwhile.”

David Pearson, deputy lieutenant for West Yorkshire, said: “It’s much bigger than what I was expecting. Spectacular is the word for this and it will benefit so many people.”