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Story of the Climbing Barn

We have built a Climbing Barn at Lower Grange Farm! 

Construction began in November 2012 and it opened in June 2014. This page tells the story of its construction.

Find out more and how to book.

June 29th 2014

The official grand opening of the climbing barn took place - Kenton Cool, the world famous mountaineer performed the opening at the summit of the wall.  The barn was packed with friends, supporters and scouting members from all around the county.  Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen.  It is now fully open and you can book your slots NOW! Read about the opening.

June 2014

With not long left until the opening here is a sneak peak into the inside of the climbing barn. Over the past couple of months, volunteers, contractors and apprentices have been working endlessly to get the building ready. One weekend in May, some amazing volunteers gave up a weekend to spray the entire climbing wall and lay the rubber chip matts, the results can be seen below and we were proud of it! Since then the resin floors have been going down, electrics worked on, glazing and carpentry continuing. Everything is slowly coming together, if you would like to climb it, visit the Lower Grange Farm website and book your slot!

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Late March 2014

Construction is flying by now onsite, with the completion of the climbing barn nearing and the car park works. 

Yet again, the pictures below will do a majority of the talking, but the stairs are in, the seating for the gallery is in, the glass banisters on the gallery are in, and the bouldering area has been put back together after construction of the gallery. Toilets are onsite, and the water harvesting system is nearing completion! The end is definitely in sight now as we hand over to the fundraising team to put together an opening ceremony to remember! Look out for more details, anyway, enjoy the pictures!

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19th February 2014

We are at the stage of designing and painting the rest of the climbing wall but are calling on help from anyone across the county with ideas on how we paint it. You can see below pictures of the areas that require designs as well as an example of the colours we have at our disposal. Feel free to play around with colours and designs, share this amongst anyone you think may be interested.

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15th February 2014

We are now into our second year of construction at Lower Grange Farm on our brand new magnificent Climbing Facility. With thanks to the Fundraising Team we have managed to raise the required amount to complete the project! 

So, what's been happening? 

The contractors have done a great job fitting out the climbing barn inside and out. The outside is now cladded all the way round, with doors hung and cladded too! The inside has been plaster boarded throughout and with thanks to the Active Support members, this has been filled, sanded and prepared and now has started to be painted. The climbing wall itself is now all primed ready to be decorated in vibrant colours! Up on the Gallery, the floorboards have been fitted and the supports for the glass bannisters have been fitted and measured for the glass. 

The project is coming along nicely! See the photos below from active support!

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5th November

Its been hard to keep up with the progress onsite! The pictures sum most of it up. The contractors are well underway with the internal fit out, it is all starting to come together as the youth projects team imagined it to be!

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20th October- There's no stopping us now!

The contractors and apprentices are speeding through all the work. The photos below pretty much sum up the progress onsite!

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27th September - It's been a while

It's been all go onsite lately, we have had apprentices onsite bricklaying and have recently welcomed back the contractors who are going to get the project near completion. The rain water harvesting system has been installed and earlier on in the month the structural steels for the walkways and gallery where installed and can be seen below. This is now ready for the floor to go down! There is light at the end of the tunnel! The final few designs and deals are being put in place! Exciting times ahead!

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An amazing amount of work has been completed in the last few weeks thanks to our young volunteers and team! You can see from the photos below that the Bouldering Wall is nearing completion, just in need of a few more handholds. The carpet has arrived and colours are going on great! Plans are being developed for the paint scheme for the Plato Wall ready for KIJ. 

Keep your eyes peeled for more details on how you can get involved over the summer!

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12th June

Great progress has been made in the Climbing Barn over the last few weeks. We are well on target for making KIJ!!

The disabled ramp has been moved to get the telehandler in for the gallery steel. The steelwork contractors have done their final measure for the gallery steel and delivery of 1st July. The concrete has been poured to the 4 Bases. We have made great progress with the undercoating of the plateau wall. And the crash mats have arrived back to site with the new carpets.

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1st June 2013

June has seen the start of the painting inside the climbing barn. We are looking for anyone to come down tomorrow to give us a hand finishing off areas of the base coat. The place is looking amazing, Come and check it out for yourselves and give us a hand!

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The team have been experimenting with the funky theme top colours as can be seen below. If your feeling creative then come and give us your ideas!


10th May 2013

We have been slowly chipping away at the project with groups of networks and explorers on site most weekends getting the wall ready for painting!


Last week, the guys from Hang Fast where onsite testing the structural integrity of the wall and making sure the anchor points and loops are all up to standard. We are pleased to announce it passed! Pictures of the testing can be seen below.

As well as that, B&Q and Dulux have agreed to supply the project with paint from their "funky" range. This is a great contribution to go along with other funds and grants slowly trickling in to help us with the completion of the project!

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27th April 2013

So where are we at... The bouldering mats have been put back together, and will be washed tomorrow, ready to be sent of for repairs and to have the Velcro sewed on, ready for the carpet on top. We have started to get the rest of the wall washed, ready for filling and painting. The front of site has had a good tidy, ready for a trench to be dug tomorrow for water and electricity for installation soon.


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17th April 2013

There has been a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes, communicating to suppliers and contractors for the next stages in the repair and renovation. The next big project is sorting out the bouldering matts for re-furbishment which will be done this weekend (seen in picture below). We need a lot of help to meet our deadline of having the wall in use for the end of July. Head over to the notices page to see how you can help.



17th March 2013

Today Alex, Georgia, Natasha, and Jack abseiled down the side of Miller House in Maidstone! This was a 135ft abseil that raised over £400 for the Climbing Barn! You still have time to sponsor them if you have not done so already,


7th March 2013

Great progress has been made inside the climbing barn. It is amazing how quickly the wall has gone up. As you will see from the pictures below the wall has been reconstructed back to the state it was in at Buckmore Park. Adaptions have now started, most noticeably on the top of the north face wall where a plato has been created to allow wheelchair's and groups to set up top rope systems. Repair and making good tasks are also well under way. Head to the notices page to see how you can help!

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24th February

We have had a great push with work onsite this weekend, photos will be uploaded later!

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14 February 2013

Wow! So much work has been going on at Lower Grange Farm that we have not been able to keep up!

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9th February 2013

Yesterday saw the last of the major steel supports go up inside the climbing barn. These sets of steel will pick up the access floor levels and the bridge section of the climb. Work is progressing well and the massive puzzle that is re-piecing the wall is well underway.

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6th February 2013

Work is now well underway moving the main climbing wall and remaining steel work near to the build from across the site. Lots of projects are coming together for the next work party. Will you be there?

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4th February 2013

Photos from the project so far...

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27th January 2013

035 This weekend was the weekend of the first work party of 2013! We managed to get a lot done and the good news is that the climbing wall is starting to be erected inside the climbing barn! We have had young people in the climbing barn today and yesterday, sanding down the metal work ready for them to add a protective layer of paint onto the steel to protect it from all weather conditions! We have had a lot of work going on this weekend and if you would like to read more about it, don't forget to check out the Lower Grange Farm Facebook page!

20th January 2013

It looks like work is going to have to wait for a little bit until some of this snow clears...

1st January 2013

Chris Bury, a member of the Youth funding team,  tells us about the journey to where we are today:

“It’s been 3 years in the planning and the climbing barn is finally coming to fruition with the start of construction, though we still have some fundraising and voluntary hours to put in before the centre is completed fully.  It would be nice to tell you how we got to this point today. It all started at one of the earliest work parties in a stable block. 

I had recently been selected to attend the 22nd World Scout Jamboree in Sweden and had been doing a lot of research into fundraising. The designs for the centre had finally been done and yet the design had no plan for a climbing wall. We all agreed we really wanted a climbing wall but we were told that it wasn’t in the plan and we couldn’t yet afford to do it. Something clicked in my head of a grant I had come across in my Jamboree fundraising research.  I said we could get the money and at that point it stemmed from there.  In a short space of time I sorted the form being filled in and the plan of what we wanted to do, an estimate of costs including using the Buckmore wall and a building to re-construct it in.

We got a call giving us ten days to get a presentation together and the team to deliver it, we advertised the wall on Facebook to get support from other young people and in two days we had 160 paragraphs of support. After delivering the presentation applying for £166,000 it took a while to get confirmation but as we started the removal of the wall at Buckmore Park we got a fax informing us we got £155,000 towards the centre.

Volunteers took four weekends to strip the wall out and transport it down to Lower Grange Farm. After we got this money we met together as young people and discussed what we wanted further in the centre. 

We discussed the options and wanted to add ice climbing, lead climbing, a gallery and full accessibility for the disabled.  We also agreed to the quote we wanted on the stone for Bear Grylls to open the project:

“Every Young Person deserves an adventure”

In October 2010, Bear Grylls unveiled the start of the project. In the process of waiting for planning permission we found more money and were awarded grants from: The Coutts Charitable Trust, Nicky and Eileen Barber Trust, Maidstone Rotary Club, Southern and South East Water. Alex Bates and Liam Starling gave a presentation to the junior Barclays challenge and were awarded £500 so the additional grants totalled £14,000. We have other plans to raise further funds in order to complete the centre. In the eager waiting for planning permission the ball finally started rolling!  We have come a very long way and have further to go but this youth inspired, driven and delivered project is incredibly exciting and looks to be the best in Scouting and in the South East”.

21st December 2012

Today we saw the end to what has been a great few weeks construction onsite for our climbing barn for this year. The initial structure is now completely up with the concrete slab and roof, ready to be fitted out with the climbing wall! Here are some pictures from the final pour.

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18th December 2012

027 Lower concrete floor slab for the bouldering area concreted yesterday, we are now preparing for the main slab pour for Thursday.

Keep your fingers crossed for good weather and we will have all the concrete in before Christmas.



14th December 2012

We concrete tomorrow!

7th December 2012

026 Safety netting in, Scaffold edge protection in, insulated roof panels have arrived.

Will the roof start tomorrow, pray for good weather.

We can't start if there are high winds or if there is a frost which would cause the blokes to slip of the edge.


4th December 2012

Today we have had the lorries and the steel at LGF, its great to see the steel going into the ground! Make sure you keep watching the live stream!

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3th December 2012

Just had it confirmed lorries crane and steel starts arriving at 7 am!!!

30th November 2012

007 Steel erectors confirm the structural steel arrives Tuesday and will be going up straight away. :-)




24th November 2012

KM Photo shoot celebrating the start of construction. 

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22nd November 2012

005 Concrete pad foundations complete.

All 12 bases are now concreted with the holding down bolts for the steel structure positioned.

We now enter a one week curing period where the concrete gains enough strength to take the massive steel structure that goes on it.


21st November 2012

Today we cut through the capping layer at each of the base locations, excavate for the column base, set up all the bolts for the steels and concrete them in place.

Busy, Busy, Busy.

18th November 2012

Work starts tomorrow morning at 7.30am!!!! Tune in to the live stream above to see all of the action as it happens LIVE!!!!

Jack has been at LGF today sorting a new feature for the build! Keep and eye open on this page to find out more later this week!

17th November 2012

We even more news to come soon! Keep an open eye on this page for more information!!!

15th November 2012

We can at last add a new chapter to Kent Scouts history at Lower Grange Farm! As of 7:30am on Monday 19th November the contractors will be on site starting work on our brand new climbing centre!

6th November 2012

Maidstone Archaeological team starting today checking the site and surrounding. 

Not only a metal detection but also resistivity testing (looking for under ground, walls, ditches and stuff)

1st November 2012

Today we had two young people at Lower Grange Farm to set up a camera for our live video stream onto the website. By the end of the today we have the camera set up and running live!

Last updated a year ago by Rebecca