Villagers ‘delighted’ as community hall project receives £10k

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 - Credit: Archant

A cash injection of £10,000 has been handed to villagers hoping to build much-needed community facilities.

Congresbury Village Hall Ltd has been handed a grant by the Power to Change Community Shares Booster Programme.

The charitable trust hopes to build a hub for community clubs, groups and events at the recreation club in Stonewell Drive and it already holds a community right to build order after a referendum in 2016 confirmed a desire for new facilities to open up.

The money will be used by the trust to develop its business plan and community share scheme, to which villagers have pledged more than £135,000,

This is still some way short of the £250,000 target, however, the trust hopes to work with Power To Change, which is backed by a huge £150million kitty from the Big Lottery Fund, to drive the project forward and meet the needs of people in Congresbury.

Project spokesman Ian Sheppard told the Mercury 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 event.

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“It would lead 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.”