We are delighted to say that we have raised over £300,000 to fully renovate the Community Centre and create a warm, modern space accessible for everyone. We are grateful to our large grant funders – The National Lottery Community Fund, Sport England and ACRE. We have also received a number of smaller grants which enabled us to meet our target. But what has been most rewarding is that so many people in our three villages, and further afield, have supported us by making donations or running fund-raising events. A big thank-you to everyone.
Fund raising is not easy! It requires a huge amount of effort completing very detailed applications. This requires extensive background work. We began this work in 2016 when we spoke to John Bodger, a retired architect from Penrith responsible for Gamblesby Village Hall. We then worked with the Frank Whittle Partnership (FWP) who are based in Preston and provide architectural and project management services. FWP discussed requirements with the Committee and produced some initial designs. These were used to consult with the village communities. Following comments and feedback, a final design was agreed. Detailed drawings were produced so we could go out to tender. This we did in 2018. Grant funders will not support projects unless you can demonstrate that you have gone through a rigorous tender process. We selected G. Bowman Building Contractors Limited of Penrith. FWP are our Project Managers. Paul Cartwright is our main contact. Paul prepared a Building Contract (which runs to 79 pages!). There was then a pause until we could raise the money needed to start the contract. We achieved this in 2019.
Work started on site in October 2019, demolishing the old toilet and kitchen block. After a break over Christmas, work restarted in February 2020. Good progress was made despite the wet weather. Foundations were completed and the new entrance, kitchen and toilet area is well underway. Unfortunately work had to stop on the 24th March due to the Coronavirus lockdown. We hope this will not delay the project for too long and that we can recover some of the lost time when building work restarts.