Community support

Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000

Description

What’s is all about?
In Marlborough, we have no community centre for local groups to use or where sports clubs can practice and, more importantly, nowhere for our young people to meet and socialise since the Youth Centre was closed and services withdrawn by our Unitary Authority. This building was about to be boarded up and mothballed but, led by community demand, the Town Council took it on in June 2017 and is working with local groups to re-open it.
This project has united the community – older people remember using the Youth Centre in the 1970s with some going on as adults to run youth groups in the same building. When it was shut in 2016, local volunteers rented it and ran a youth club alongside other groups, such as Barnardo’s. When the notice to quit arrived in 2017, local young people with placards attended Town Council meetings to ask that their local Councillors take the building on – they agreed.
Holding on to that community spirit
It’s ideally situated in our Recreation Ground with a skate park, play area and football pitch and even a Bowls Club. The new Community Centre will widen opportunities for activities, events and socialising for all ages. Those already wanting to use it include 2 local youth groups, Barnardo’s, the local youth football team, a young dance and drama group, various sports and fitness clubs and a dementia drop-in group. Many of these currently move nomadically from one venue to another and this refurbished facility will give them a base, somewhere to call home.

How is it being improved?
The building has been neglected for a number of years and repair and redecoration started in September 2017 with anticipated completion before the end of the year. This involves stripping back a large ground floor space for use as a multi-use hall and re-configuring the basement as a changing room for junior football teams. There will be a sound proofed music practice room and café area with a suite of computers and well as storage areas. There’ll be external CCTV, an access control system and an intruder alarm so it will be a secure, safe environment for local people, including the vulnerable, to meet, socialise, play sports and more.

What’s the grant for?
The Town Council has a revenue budget in place to cover day to day running costs (utilities, cleaning, business rates, etc.) but, as it took the building on at short notice, there’s no budget for capital expenditure. It has been successful with some grant applications and contributions from community groups and individuals for the refurbishment work itself (asbestos removal, roof repairs, new electrics and lighting, tree works, refurbishment of the sports hall floor, carpeting, IT equipment, etc.). This will cost £55,436 and we are progressing well towards that target figure. Now to finish this all off it needs various equipment - furniture, whitegoods and utensils for the kitchen, a TV, first aid kits, projector and screen and more to make the building live and ready for use by the community that really needs it.

Marlborough Town Council

Location: Marlborough

Marlborough is proud this project. It’s one which has united the whole community. In the face of having their Youth Centre closed after 44 years, grandparents, parents and their children have rolled up their sleeves, campaigned and worked hard to raise money to keep something good going.
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