Airport cheque helps Kennaway House refurb

WITH work almost complete on refurbishing Sidmouth s Kennaway House, a �65,000 grant from Devon County Council will pay for a professional kitchen and outdoor landscaping.

WITH work almost complete on refurbishing Sidmouth's Kennaway House, a �65,000 grant from Devon County Council will pay for a professional kitchen and outdoor landscaping.

Sidmouth, Sidford County Councillor Stuart Hughes handed the cheque to Dr Michael James, chairman of Kennaway House, on Tuesday, on the steps of the grand Regency property - former home to the town's first MP.

"This is a very welcome and generous gift," said Dr James. "It will enable us to complete the parts of the project not covered by the Heritage Lottery funded scheme, including parking and installing a profession kitchen.

"Everyone working on Kennaway House is very grateful to Stuart Hughes for bringing it off."

Ian Heard, financial director, said the DCC grant was "crucial" to help finance the kitchen and landscaping.

Mr Hughes has given �5,000 from his own community fund allowance as well as securing �60,000 from the Investing in Devon community fund from the sale of Exeter Airport.

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He said: "Michael James and his team have done a brilliant job, raising �1 million to restore this beautiful Regency house and its gardens. I am delighted to support the bid Michael put in for the Kennaway House fund.

"It is an amazing achievement, giving Sidmouth an asset which will provide so many opportunities for everyone living in the Sid Valley and nearby villages.

"I must take my hats off to the people involved in this refurbishment, which has been a huge task.

"It will be such a magnificent community asset for Sidmouth. I can't wait to see it officially open on July 4."

Devon Adult Learning will occupy the first floor of the house from Monday, April 20 and it will be fully open early in May. Two weddings have already been booked.

Site manager Mike Bovingdon from Imperial Construction said: "It has been a big challenge for everyone but all is going to schedule and on time.

"All the way through the project the workmanship has been top quality. The windows were handmade on site and the internal finishes are really good with Regency colours."

Architect Neil Wall, who helped with the lottery bid, has been involved with the new extension at Kennaway House to house a lift and other disabled facilities.

*The whole town is invited to the grand opening of the house on July 4.