With the arrival of the New Year, I felt it would be good to reflect on what has happened in the past twelve months for the Grange Park Centre charity before looking forward to the exciting year ahead of us. 2018 was a year of breakthroughs…
On the 8th February the building plans for the community centre were passed by Charnwood Borough Council planning department. This was followed on the 7th March by the news that we’d been awarded £10,000 from the Big Lottery Awards for All fund. On the 16th March we were informed that our application for £500,000 from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities building Fund had been awarded. After a huge amount of time and effort from residents over many years through consultation events, grant filling and countless other activities, it was a thrilling outcome.
As a consequence, the working group has been incredibly busy over the past nine months tendering the construction of the building, followed by a detailed and lengthy value engineering process to further reduce construction costs. In parallel the fund raising team have been preparing a huge number of applications to trusts, foundations and businesses to raise the additional funds to complete the project. This has secured an incredible £170,000 from trusts, foundations, businesses, individuals and brick sponsorship. We’ve been simply overwhelmed by the support of so many generous donations.
We’ve been working through the many twists and turns of the legal processes required for the lease on the land and the charge on the land required by the Big Lottery. This has taken more than 8 months and has been far more complicated than we anticipated, consuming both time and energy. We are now in the final stages of signing the paperwork which will enable the construction of the community centre to commence.
We’ve continued to hold public meetings, moving to a bi-monthly rhythm to enable us to better manage the huge workload needed behind the scenes. We have also held further consultation events, and been excited to welcome new volunteers to the wider support team.
The working group has worked incredibly hard in so many ways. Once again, as Chair, I want to say a huge thank-you for the personal sacrifices that many have given for the benefit of the community. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved together, which will benefit many people in this and future generations.
The coming year will be very exciting, when we start to build the new community centre and then look forward to running the projects that will make a difference to many residents within our communities.
We look forward to continuing to share the journey together with you, and if you would like to get involved, we invite you to get in touch via our website.
On behalf of the trustees and working group, we wish you all the best for 2019.
Chair of the Grange Park Centre Charity