Lottery Money for the Centre?

, October 12th 2012

BUT, we need your help to get it!

The consultation exercise and survey carried out for the compilation of the Parish Plan, produced in 2008, confirmed a strong desire in the community for the Centre not only to remain in use, but to modernise its facilities and expand its reach and capabilities.

Since then, as users will know, we have carried out a steady series of improvements – rewiring, new heating, a new kitchen, modernised toilets, and, above all, the spectacular refurbishment of the Main Hall, with its open space, media/IT/projection facilities, acoustic engineering, and the reinstatement of the restored Benefactors’ Shields of Arms.

The total spend has been around £125,000, largely made up of grants from various bodies, but with valuable contributions from our communities’ own fund-raising efforts.

The final phase of the overall improvement scheme has always been to construct a new entrance/reception area – the plans for which have been on display at the Centre for some time now. This will:

  • improve access for all, but particularly the disabled
  • allow all the function rooms to be used simultaneously but independently
  • satisfy the increasing demand which now leads to clashes for space
  • allow more private hirings, so helping maintenance revenue
  • provide space for displays, notice boards and community information exchange – missed since the Post Office closed
  • generate some much needed additional storage

 

The estimated cost is £95,000, and we have to date secured £45,000 of this from various sources – LCC, RVBC, LEF, BAE Systems, Booths, etc.

Although the ‘grant environment’ is much tougher now than it was in 2008-10 we have finally, (and after a lot of effort!) gained acceptance of an outline proposal to the Big Lottery Fund for a Grant of £50,000 under their ‘Reaching Communities’ Programme.

Winning this will obviously allow the build to go ahead, but we now have two months to submit a much more extensive full proposal – THIS IS WHERE WE NEED YOUR HELP.

As the title suggests, this funding programme is all about reaching out into, and helping the community, and it has been made clear to us in the invitation letter that, to stand any chance of success at this final hurdle, we have to demonstrate a very high degree of consultation with, support from, need for, and benefit to you all.

We do not need you to reach into your pockets (except for a pen, or unless someone has the £50,000 going spare!), but please do take a few moments to respond to this short questionnaire. The more positive you can be, the better it will help our cause, but since consultation is the key, even critical comments would be more helpful than no response at all.

In the current economic climate, and with local sources all virtually ‘dried up’, we feel this opportunity is the last chance we will have now, or in the foreseeable future, to secure the shortfall, and so complete the final part of the transformation of the Centre .