Sidmouth residents bid to furnish community centre

Residents embark on �23k fund mission for Stowford Rise facility

FUNDRAISING residents including a campaigning Woolbrook granny have set their sights on a �23,000 cash haul to furnish a long awaited community facility.

With building work set to start on a Stowford Rise Community Centre this month, nearby householders have stepped up efforts they hope will see the hub kitted out with equipment ranging from cookers to curtains.

It is hoped the centre will be up and running this time next year.

The Stowford Community Centre Association, made up of residents and councillors, needs to raise more than �20,000 by April 2011 to ensure it is properly furnished.

Seventy-year-old fundraising co-ordinator Jan Jones lost her fight to stop a developer building homes on a popular field used by kids in Stowford Rise last year, but hopes for a happier outcome with her latest campaign.

“I lost the fight over the field, but that has just spurred me on with this,” the Baker Close resident told the Herald, “The cost of the community centre doesn’t include fixtures and fittings, we need to pay for everything to equip the place.

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“It’s going to be the hub of the community, and help the neighbourhood in every way.”

Community Centre designs include a 180 square metre hall, large kitchen and community room.

The group got a boost from neighbour Waitrose on Tuesday as the supermarket handed over �190 as part of its Community Matters initiative.

Councillor Stuart Hughes has championed the community centre for 15 years. He said: “It is going to be a huge advantage to everybody, not just in Stowford Rise, but the town as a whole. I can’t wait until I see work starting at the site, then people will actually realise at long last it is on its way.”

Margaret Edwards-Hughes, Waitrose Community Matters Co-ordinator said: “This is very local, and that’s what Community Matters is all about.” She added any local causes can apply for cash.