New community centre moves step closer thanks to £500,000 grant

The creation of a new community centre has moved a step closer after a grant of almost £500,000 was awarded to a community project.

Thursday, 10th May 2018, 1:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th May 2018, 1:16 pm
Shotton Community Centre partnership chairman Rona Hardy, left, with fellow partnership members Brenda Nelson, Audrey Thornton, and Denise and Jan Brooks. Picture by Frank Reid.

Shotton Partnership and Shotton Parish Council have been working towards the development of a new community centre for the last 15 years.

And now, through a £495,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund, that dream has moved closer to becoming reality.

The total cost of the venture is in excess of £1million, and there is still a shortfall of £180,000.

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But the community centre is now closer than ever to coming to fruition.

Shotton Partnership chairman Rona Hardy said: “We have worked on the development of the community centre for the past 15 years, but this time everything fell into place so we can finally fulfil our dream of a one-stop shop integrating many services into one building.”

Shotton Parish Council chairman Dixon Blakey said: “We are all delighted at the news and it is a clear recognition and a credit to the close partnership working between Shotton Partnership and Shotton Parish Council to receive this grant, which will really help support our village and community going forward.”

The original intention of the project was to renovate and redevelop the existing building, based on Shotton’s Bridge Road.

The building was last year transferred to the parish council through Durham County Council’s asset transfer programme.

Architects have recently advised that it would be more economically viable and sustainable in the shorter to longer term to opt for a new build.

The new building will be situated on land next to the current community centre, so there will be no interruption in services or activities while it is under construction.

The Shotton Partnership is still seeking donations towards the project.

Ms Hardy added: “If any local business, industry or residents would like to make a donation towards the building fund please contact us.

“Any donation, no matter how small, will be gratefully received.

“These are really exciting times for Shotton and hopefully, by September 2019, the village will have a brand-new purpose-built community centre.”