Doubts cast over centre's future

A COMMUNITY centre in a 'forgotten' part of Weston is facing a bleak future according to North Somerset ward councillors for Locking Castle. Councillors Dawn Payne, William Collins and Robert Cleland told members of the Maltlands Community Centre committe

A COMMUNITY centre in a 'forgotten' part of Weston is facing a bleak future according to North Somerset ward councillors for Locking Castle.Councillors Dawn Payne, William Collins and Robert Cleland told members of the Maltlands Community Centre committee at a meeting they were not confident of the centre securing the funding it needs to stay open.Cllr Dawn Payne said: "We need to try to sort something out short-term to increase the centre's income."Last month, committee members Reverend Robert Channon and Sarah Pearce, the centre's manager, went to the Town Hall to ask North Somerset Council for £10,000 to keep it open until a new one is built.The centre is home to dozens of community groups such as brownies and women's organisations. Committee members say it is too small and does not have facilities such as a good kitchen to attract larger groups that will boost its income.Previously, Mrs Pearce has asked for lottery cash to help fund a new building but she has been unsuccessful.One idea by Rev Channon is to sell one of his churches to raise cash for a new centre.But the current centre is running out of money and the council has been asked to provide financial support until a new one can be built.The committee has been asked by the council to provide more evidence to support its case.Members will now present the local authority with an action plan for the next financial year together with the results of a survey detailing what residents living nearby want from a community centre.


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