Opinion Former Article

Big Lottery Fund: Lottery funds facelifts for community hubs

TOWN and village hubs across England are about to enjoy a facelift as they take a share in £3.5 million of bricks and mortar investment in village halls and community centres announced today by the BIG Lottery Fund.

Towns from Wigglesworth in Yorkshire to Truro in Cornwall are among the thirteen communities securing a slice of the good cause funding for Community Buildings that will enabling enable them to inject a new lease of life into village halls or build new community centres from scratch.

Sanjay Dighe, Big Lottery Fund England Chair, said: "Community Buildings is a fantastic programme that aims to fund buildings which are a focus for neighbourhood activity. These projects awarded funding today epitomise the aims of the scheme, all promising to give a huge amount back to their local communities.

"It's great news that BIG is able to help transform halls or build new modern, sustainable places for everyone to use and enjoy."

Amongst the successful communities is the Yorkshire Dale's village of Wigglesworth for whom the dream of a modern, refurbished community centre is set to become a reality with a £264,763 award.

Local charity, Clark's Old School Foundation, will use the funding to refurbish and extend the current community centre housed in an old school building dating back to 1798. The improved building will offer a wide range of amenities and activities for the whole community creating a vastly improved centre for village life.

Michael Dean, a Trustee and Treasurer for Clark's Old School, said: "We are over the moon about the Big Lottery Fund award as it underwrites all the hard work that the whole community has put into this project. Wigglesworth is typical of many rural communities, the Old School is the only local community facility and is in desperate need of renovation and bringing up to date.

"This award will move us right along the path to provide the key focal point for the whole community. This award will not just ensure the upgrading and future of a core facility for Wigglesworth, but will contribute to maintaining the spirit, involvement and 'togetherness' that is essential for the survival of rural communities in modern society."

The residents of two Truro housing estates are celebrating today, following the news that the BIG Lottery Fund is backing their bid for a brand new community hall with a grant of £272,250.

The Trelander & St Clements Tenants and Residents Association's ambitious building project will see an environmentally friendly community centre built on the neighbouring Trelander and St Clements estates located just outside Truro city centre. The building will be insulated with lamb's wool and straw bales and has been designed with broad windows that will allow natural light to flood in unobstructed.

Peter Congdon, Chair, Trelander & St Clements Tenants & Residents Association, said: "We couldn't believe it when we heard we had been awarded the grant from the Big Lottery Fund. We have been working for so many years to try and get a community hall for our estate and now it has finally happened.

"The grant will allow us to run events for members of the community of all ages - from bingo and coffee mornings to youth groups and sports sessions. Residents are already approaching the committee with their ideas for activities to run in the hall. This grant will make such a difference to our estate and everyone can't wait for the building work to begin."

In the North West, Levunshulme, situated at the heart of the A6 corridor running between Manchester and Stockport, is celebrating an award of £446,000 to develop a dynamic new building on one of the busiest thoroughfares in and out of Manchester city centre.

The award will help the Levenshulme Inspire Partnership transform the mid-Victorian United Reform Church building into a vibrant multi-purpose community building. The centre will feature five core elements. Inspiration Space will provide rooms and facilities for local groups to carry out activities such as aerobics and indoor bowling. Inspiration Incubation will provide a suite of hot desks and virtual offices for local entrepreneurs.

The centre will also be the location for a recording studio and the ALLFM community radio station, which serves South Manchester. The Inspire café as well as offering healthy food, will provide Internet services. Finally the centre will provide 14 unique social housing units, which can be rented by local residents.

The table below lists all thirteen awards from today's announcement.

Project Location Award
Great Yarmouth Community Trust East of England £267,779
Whittingham Memorial Institute Northumberland, North East £185,612
Punnetts Town Village Hall East Sussex, South East £400,000
Bishop Wilton Community Hall East Yorkshire, Yorkshire and Humber £360,000
Harmans Cross Village Hall Dorset, South West £256,000
Newton Village Hall Nottinghamshire, East of England £68,180
Treswell Community Hall Nottinghamshire, East of England £275,000
Overslade Community Centre Rugby, W.Midlands £271,150
Parochial Church Council Peterstow, Ross-on-Wye, W.Midlands £103,573
Trelander & St. Clemens Tenants and Residents Association Truro, Cornwall £272,250
Levenshulme Inspire Partnership levenshulme, North West £446,000
Clark's Old School Foundation Wigglesworth, Yorkshire and Humber £264,763

Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888

Out of hours contact: 07867 500 572

Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030 Textphone: 0845 6021 659

Full details of the Big Lottery Fund programmes and grant awards are available on the website:www.biglotteryfund.org.uk

Notes to Editors
- Community Buildings is dedicated to investing in buildings that give communities a chance to improve their quality of life and meet local needs, by offering a range of activities and services open to a broad range of people.
- £50 million will be distributed across England over three years with grants of £50,000 to £500,000 available.
- The programme opened for applications in June 2006. 200 applicants were invited to submit stage 2 applications and development funding was awarded to some projects.
- The programme is now closed for applications.
- The Big Lottery Fund rolls out close to £2 million in Lottery good cause money every 24 hours which together with other Lottery distributors means that across the UK most people are within a few miles of a Lottery-funded project.
- The Big Lottery Fund, the largest of the National Lottery good cause distributors, has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK since its inception in June 2004. It was established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
- Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to Good Causes. As a result, over £20 billion has now been raised and more than 300,000 grants given out across the arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.

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