Help needed to create community hub in comedian Frankie Howerd’s memory

PUBLISHED: 08:00 09 September 2018

Nigel Lincoln (secretary), Jane Lincoln (chairman) and Philip Davies (treasurer) from the Frankie Howerd OBE Trust at the old smithy at Loxton.    

Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Nigel Lincoln (secretary), Jane Lincoln (chairman) and Philip Davies (treasurer) from the Frankie Howerd OBE Trust at the old smithy at Loxton. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

‘Isolated’ villagers could soon benefit from a new community hub, which has been inspired by a legendary performer.

The Frankie Howerd OBE Trust has plans to create a ‘focal point’ for the community of Loxton and nearby villages, with hopes of enabling elderly people to remain in their homes by connecting them with vital services.

The trust supports good causes in the memory of comedian Frankie Howerd who lived in nearby Cross until his death in 1992 and enjoyed a storied career.

It has secured planning permission from North Somerset Council to redevelop a redundant blacksmith’s workshop into a hub which will boast a shop, café and bar, plus offices and space for community activities.

Trust secretary Nigel Lincoln said: “It is hoped that the hub will be a focal point for the surrounding area by providing a mini-bus to connect the villages, a community care assistant, and a handy person service to undertake simple but important repairs to help those unable to do them.

“As local services become stretched and the population grows older the trust envisages the hub will play a vital role in enabling the elderly in our isolated communities to remain in their own homes.

“But it will also cater for ramblers, cyclists and visitors, as well as serving as a meeting place for locals.”

The £250,000 project has won the support of famous names like Dame June Whitfield, David Walliams, Griff Rhys-Jones, Rafe Spall and Joanna Lumley – and the trust is now calling for public support to help its ambitions materialise.

Mr Lincoln added: “A project of this scope will need help and ideas, and the trustees will be holding meetings in village halls to hear what people would like, and what they could offer in terms of voluntary help, fundraising, construction materials and public relations.

“In fact, any help will be most welcome.”

The plans will be showcased at Loxton Village Hall, in Christon Road, on Wednesday at 7.30pm and further consultations will be held in Weare, Biddisham and Cross in the coming weeks.

For more information on the project and the consultations, visit www.frankiehowerdobetrust.org

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