Honiton Community Spaces have launched a major campaign to raise £325,000 to revitalise a much-loved Honiton community building.
Big plans for the town’s Community Use Building [CUB] have now been revealed – with a dream to transform the site so it can host up to 400 people each week.
Volunteers have now issued a plea to residents to support their fundraising drive, to fix the building which has fallen into disrepair, by donating or hosting their own sponsored events.
The former youth club, just beyond Honiton College and the leisure centre, has been a centre for the young and old to gather for social and community events for more than 50 years.
The vibrant community hub is the home of numerous groups which focus on helping local residents on low incomes, supporting those with special needs and hosting mental health support groups.
This includes the 729 Club for teenagers and adults with additional needs and physical limitations, the Open Arms and Honiton Shedders who both give support and friendship to people enduring mental health issues, the Youth Club and [since 1969] mother and toddler support groups.
All money raised will provide vital upgrades for bringing the building up to new regulations; installing a new fire escape and disabled ramps, upgrading and insulating the roof, external walls and windows as well as upgrading the heating and lighting to reduce energy consumption.
Volunteers eventually hope to raise enough funds to refurbish the entire building, so it can have new halls, meeting rooms, training rooms, gardens, a woodland area, a new cafe and kitchen – with training provisions and a space for ecological education and forest school facilities.
Councillor Dan Ledger, EDDC’s portfolio holder for sustainable homes and communities, said:
This building is hugely important and valuable to local residents and community groups. I would urge anyone who can donate or fundraise for this amazing asset for the Honiton community to do so.
In 2015 when Devon County Council could no longer afford to keep the building going, and were closing all youth clubs, the Community Development Team drove forward the creation of the locally-run Honiton Youth Club and found a way to keep the building open for all the groups.
The Community Development Team has also supported a number of the users of the CUB with small grants through its Honiton ‘Dragons’ Den’ programme across the years.
We are very keen to see this next ambitious stage succeed.
The community development team are also covering the £620 EDDC plan and inspection fees in recognition of the number of tenants that enjoy groups at the CUB.
A Community Development Team spokesperson said:
Many people reading this will remember going to the youth club, or being at mother and toddlers.
Let’s imagine what we can create for our children and grandchildren and families in the community.
It is great to see people come here to play, to sing, to do crafts in the woods, to help each other and feel that they belong here and enjoy the spaces.
If we can find the funds we can make this a lovely, safe and enjoyable space that Honiton can be proud of.
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