Village hall project gathers momentum with £10k grant

PUBLISHED: 13:22 24 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:22 24 November 2018

A new artist's impression of the plans. Picture: Congresbury New Village Hall DevelopmentTrust

A new artist's impression of the plans. Picture: Congresbury New Village Hall DevelopmentTrust

Archant

Villagers working hard to create a hall in Congresbury are ‘delighted’ after receiving a hefty cash injection, with hopes of receiving thousands more.

Congresbury Village Hall Ltd – the team behind the project to build a hub for community clubs, groups and events at the recreation club in Stonewell Drive – has been handed a £10,000 grant by the Power to Change Community Shares Booster Programme.

The money will be used by the charitable trust – which already holds a community right to build order after a referendum in 2016 confirmed a desire for new facilities – to develop its business plan and community share scheme.

Villagers have pledged more than £135,000 to the community share scheme, but this is still some way short of the £250,000 target. However, the trust plans to work with Power To Change, which is backed by a £150million kitty from the Big Lottery Fund, to drive the project forward.

Project spokesman Ian Sheppard told the Times he is ‘delighted’ to have received the grant, and revealed the trust hopes to unlock tens of thousands of pounds in additional funding through the booster programme.

He said: “The new building will provide access to a broad range of existing and new community services, activities and events leading to an increase in participation in recreational, leisure, cultural, social and sporting activities such as health services, a community café and juice bar, badminton, fitness training, drama, and learning.

“We have applied for investment from the community shares booster programme.

“Under this programme, up to £100,000 is available to match applications for shares from the public. We are in negotiations to secure an equity investment from the booster programme for this offer.

“If successful, it would mean for every pound invested by individuals up to £100,000, another pound will be invested in matched shares.”

David Chater, Power to Change’s head of funds, added: “We believe putting business in community hands for charitable purposes transforms places.

“This £10,000 grant will help the trust become less grant-dependent and provide much-needed services for people to meet charitable needs.”

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