Hall gets its funding

A NEW community hall in Portishead WILL open by next September - after councillors finally agreed to fund the project

A NEW community hall in Portishead WILL open by next September - after councillors finally agreed to fund the project.At a meeting of Portishead and North Weston Town Council on Wednesday night, councillors agreed to hand over £160,000 towards the £250,000 needed to build a community hall above the new Trinity Primary School at the Village Quarter at the new Ashlands development.The extra £90,000 will come from North Somerset Council as a result of a 106 planning agreement to fund community facilities at The Ashlands.The new school, which is being funded by the Diocese of Bath and Wells, is due to open in September 2008.Contractors have been chosen and it is understood the contract for the work is to be signed this week.But some councillors were unhappy at handing over the money, claiming full consideration had not been given to how the new facility would be managed.Councillor Andy Wright said: "All of a sudden, at the ninth hour, it seems as if the management of this new hall is being dumped on us."Have we investigated how much the running costs for this building will be?"But other councillors said if the money was not agreed for the hall, the whole project could be in jeopardy.Councillor Arthur Terry said: "This has to be signed as the contractor is appointed and ready to go on site."This school has to be open by September 2008 and any further delay by the council could put the opening of the school in jeopardy."There is still a lot of work that has to be done on how the hall will be managed but the basic decision we have to make is are we prepared to fund it."Councillors agreed to fund the project, subject to the £90,000 from North Somerset Council coming forward for the scheme.They also agreed to set up further meetings to discuss how the hall, which will be used by local community groups, will be run and managed.Trinity Primary School will have six classrooms, assembly hall, kitchen, reception hall, nursery, multi-use games area and a computer suite.It is being built as part of the redevelopment of The Ashlands, which will see a further 1,650 homes being built in the town.

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