Sidmouth community centre bid to reclaim cash

STOWFORD Community Centre leaders in Sidmouth have begun a bid to reclaim nearly �18,000 spent on kitting out the valued facility.

And it is hoped the venue will host concerts, festivals and become part of FolkWeek when further thousands are spent.

The centre’s management board last week submitted its first funding claim to Making it Local.

The grants scheme pledged up to �35,000 to the Stowford Rise facility earlier this year - but funding could be handed over after purchases had been made and receipts provided.

The Herald reported in February how Sidmouth Town Council offered the centre a �30,000 ‘bridging’ loan so equipment and furniture could be bought. Fundraisers’ hard work also netted around �20,000.

The board splashed cash on furnishings for the hall and caf� and equipment used in its kitchen - and can now ask Making it Local to hand over the funding pledged.

If the claim is accepted in full, 70per cent of the centre’s recent capital expenditure of nearly �18,000 will be refunded, together with a similar proportion of the centre manager’s salary to date.

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Jeff Turner, chairman of the Stowford Community Centre board, said that its members were “delighted” with the generous grant promised.

He added the total amount will top �35,000 when the planned equipment expenditure programme is completed early next year.

Mr Turner added the next stage of expenditure involves installing a high-quality public address system so the hall can be used for concerts and festivals.

“It is hoped that the organisers of the Sidmouth Folk Week will adopt Stowford as one of its main venues for future festival events,” he added.

“The Making it Local grant has a made a huge difference to Stowford and has contributed to the successful launch of the centre.”

Making it Local provides funding for projects in the rural South West. It aims to bring sustainable development and lasting prosperity through supporting communities and developing business and enterprise.