Centre's cash appeal nearing target

A LAST-minute appeal for cash to ensure the survival of a market town's community centre project has paid dividends with £90,000 being pledged in only a three-week period.

By David Green

A LAST-minute appeal for cash to ensure the survival of a market town's community centre project has paid dividends with £90,000 being pledged in only a three-week period.

Now the Framlingham Community Centre Trust has only to find another £10,000 in order to meet its target and is confident this will be raised within the time limit.

The trust was left devastated when, after raising more than £800,000 towards the cost of the new centre, it was told by the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) that it would not, after all, award a £125,000 grant.


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Because some of the other grants had timescale restrictions imposed on them, the project was scaled back by £25,000 but it meant the trust had just weeks to find the shortfall of £100,000.

John Lockyer, trust secretary, disclosed yesterday that £90,000 had now been pledged by individuals, businesses and organisations and the project was now fairly certain to go ahead.

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“We have had some very generous donations. The architect has estimated the cost of the new centre as £925,000 but we are now going out to tender to see if builders' costs match this,” he said.

While champagne corks were not popping yet, the trust felt it was very close to succeeding.

The National Lottery has given £290,000 to the project and £300,000 has come from the European regional Development Fund.

Mr Lockyer said he hoped a contractor would be appointed before the end of the year. Work on building the new centre could start in February.

The centre will provide facilities for social, welfare and business activities for residents of all ages.

Defra has refused to comment on its decision not to make the expected grant.

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