Birk Crag Logo
Birk Crag Centre

Will inspire and enthuse its users

About the project

Birk Crag Centre is the activity, meeting, training and residential Centre for Girlguiding North Yorkshire West County (NYW) situated on the edge of Harrogate.

The story so far…

1956 The Centre opened following the gifting of buildings and surrounding land by Leeds and Harrogate Rotary Clubs, with further developments taking place.

1957 One new dormitory erected, and improvements made to remaining huts to provide the first County Brownie Pack Holiday House.  The opening ceremony was held on 29 June and the House opened by the County President HRH The Princess Royal.

1963 Sadly the House was destroyed by a devastating fire in December.

1967 A new wooden House was erected on the same site with help from the Department of Education & Science and all member of the County and opened on 10 June as the County Training Centre and Brownie Pack Holiday House by the County President, Miss Anne shepherd OBE.  The House was in continuous use with residential accommodation for 31, with a lounge and adjoining dining room, kitchen, 3 WCs, 2 showers and a subsequently adapted accessible WC with shower.

1994  Ownership transferred back to North Yorkshire West Guide Association following re-organisation and the House was re-opened by Mrs Jane Garside JP, Chief Commissioner of the Guide Association on behalf of North Yorkshire West Guide Association.

2016 Planning permission granted to rebuild fully accessible, fit for purpose Centre following 10+ years of planning and consultation with members and other user groups. This led the County to appoint a Project Manager and form a Steering group to move the project forward, backed by the enthusiasm of our members.  Stakeholders were consulted further, fundraising started in earnest and preparations were being made.

2018 After over 50 years of continuous use and despite on-going maintenance, the building was no longer fit for purpose, did not meet current legislation and had reached a point where repair and renovation was no longer viable.  We were forced to close the residential areas, followed by other areas and sadly the building started to collapse with the remainder being taken down.

2019 Work commenced, however, unexpectedly and beyond our control, costly works had to be undertaken in several areas.  The rebuilding of Birk Crag Centre progressed with the building becoming almost watertight and a commemorative stone was unveiled in October.

2020 Timber cladding and construction progressed.  However, due to the Covid pandemic work was curtailed mid 2020 due to labour restrictions and materials in short supply.  This resulted in a huge rise in the cost of materials and labour, together with inflation and the additional time taken has meant increases in the overall cost of the building.

2022 Work re-started with the stud walling on the 1st and Ground Floor, followed by drainage works, concreting and insulating the Basement floor, together with underfloor heating pipes and flooring of the Ground Floor being completed.

2023 Insulation, boarding, and 1st fix of the electrics are taking place with the installation of the stairs, lift, treatment plant, plumbing, 2nd fix electrics, flooring and decoration are planned.

2023 Autumn is the target date to open the Ground Floor facilities with work continuing to complete the fit out for the 1st Floor and Basement.