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Lakenheath: People’s Project secures funding from Christian Fellowship Foundation

PUBLISHED: 10:13 28 March 2014 | UPDATED: 10:13 28 March 2014

Lakenheath Royal British Legion Club

Lakenheath Royal British Legion Club

Archant

A village’s dream of creating a state-of-the-art community hub is back on the cards after getting full backing from a local group.

It was announced today that the Christian Fellowship Foundation was stumping up the £120,000 required to make Lakenheath’s People’s Project a reality.

Villagers have been campaigning for months to raise enough money to buy Lakenheath’s old Royal Brtitish Legion (RBL) Hall, the first step towards merging it with the Peace Memorial Hall next door and creating a centre of excellence at the heart of the west Suffolk village.

The Christian Fellowship Foundation is funding the purchase after selling the Lakenheath Village Home, with the closure and subsequent sale of the care home causing outrage among families of its residents.

However, the latest twist will see funds from the site’s sale pumped back into Lakenheath, and campaigner Brendan Fulham reacted to the news with “great joy.”

In a statement he said: “I am pleased to formally announce that the Christian Fellowship Foundation, upon completion of the sale of the Village Home, has decided to join forces with the People’s Project and fund completely our attempts to finally secure the ex-Royal British Legion site for the village to create the Village Centre of Excellence.”

Campaigners needed to raise £120,000 to buy the RBL Hall by April 7, with the sale of the site embargoed under community right to buy legislation, which gives community groups time to raise funds to buy assets that are of value to the community.

However, the price of the hall could yet rise above £120,000 if a higher bid comes in privately after the deadline.

The village’s campaign had already raised almost £40,000, while Forest Heath District Council had agreed to loan the project up to £75,000 before the deadline as a last resort.

Mr Fulham, who estimated the overall cost could be as much as £500,000, said he was reluctant to accept the loan because it would make it more difficult to secure grant funding later on.

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