Airport sale helps Sidmouth's Kennaway House restoration project

IT S Happy Christmas to Sidmouth s Kennaway House, which will receive £65,000 from the £48 million sale of Exeter Airport by Devon County Council.

IT'S Happy Christmas to Sidmouth's Kennaway House, which will receive £65,000 from the £48 million sale of Exeter Airport by Devon County Council.

DCC's Investing in Devon committee has given the go-ahead to award £60,000 from its community fund, while Sidmouth, Sidford County Councillor Stuart Hughes has made £5,000 available from his community special projects fund.

A delighted Dr Michael James, chairman of Kennaway House, said: "This is a wonderful Christmas Eve gift and everyone working on the project is grateful to Stuart Hughes for bringing it off.

"The restoration of the building has been going strong since last July and will be complete soon.

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"We plan to reopen in late April and there will be a grand reopening, which we have now fixed for July 4 next year."

Mr Hughes was successful in putting forward and supporting an application for funds from the proceeds of Exeter Airport.

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He said: "I am delighted that I was successful in securing this money for the restoration of Kennaway House and I now look forward to the completion of the works and the grand opening of this historic building, which is going to provide so many opportunities for those living in the Sid Valley.

"I believe Sidmouth has greatly benefited from the Investing in Devon funds as I was also successful in putting forward the bid and securing £250,000 for the Stowford Rise Community Centre which is now on track and will also be the home of the Sidmouth Children's Centre."

Dr James added: "We are now entering a new phase of the project and working hard to see that the new Kennaway House, which will be a fine building run by a bunch of enthusiastic and committed people, is well used as a centre for the arts, education and the community, something Sidmouth does not have at present.

"Although we can now reopen the building, fully restored and with full disabled access, this grant is not the end of all our fund raising, which will continue for some time to secure the long-term future of Kennaway House, so it is never allowed to deteriorate again, as it did in the last 50 years.

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