Ambitious community centre plan in Newbridge needs support… can you help?

Reporter:

Keri Trigg

Volunteers are being sought to take on an ambitious project to provide a new community building for Newbridge.

A plea has been put out by the current Newbridge Community Project committee for more people to step up and take the scheme forward.

The roles of chairman, secretary and treasurer all need to be filled as the current position holders prepare to step down.

If no names are put forward, it is likely the scheme – which has planning permission until 2020 – will fall through.

Proposals for a new community building for the village first surfaced after the closure of the nursery. The planned building, next to the park, would house a new nursery as well as space for groups, classes, parties or meetings, and would replace the run-down public toilets with a new disabled toilet.

Once open the estimated £350,000 building would be self-sustaining, with any profits being ploughed back into the community.

Sara Hudson, secretary of the project committee, said: “When the nursery closed a few mums got together and put out a questionnaire to every resident asking what they want and need.

“We had the backing of the local community council, because there is a need for a nursery, and we had help from the Powys County Council Regeneration team.

“We had the idea of a multi-purpose new build in the centre of the village because we have this playing field and a park.

“The community council was willing to take the land on from Powys if we got funding to knock the toilets down and build this new building.”

The plans have gained support from Kirsty Williams AM, Chris Davies MP, and local charities, organisations, and businesses which have said they could make use of the facilities.

The committee is asking anyone who could spare a few hours a week to get in touch. The work would involve submitting grant applications to fund the construction of the building, after past bids to the Welsh Government failed to meet the strict requirements.

Sara said: “A lot of work and a lot of time and money have already been invested. We have had help from the local community council and £7,000 from Powys for the fees.

“There is now a window of opportunity to apply for lottery funding which would be a lot more flexible. For example, we could use it to employ a manager before it is built to oversee everything.”

Sara has been involved in the project since the beginning, along with chairman Zara Abberley and treasurer Danielle Samuel, but the trio now feel they have put in everything they can, and that fresh eyes and ideas are needed for it to come to fruition.

“There is only so much we can do, but we are passionate about it – it’s a worthy cause,” added Sara.

“It’s difficult to get people to realise its potential. All the work is there, it just needs someone to re-jig the application and go for lottery funding.

“If we got this up and running it could really benefit the community.”

You can contact Sara on 07879 471129 or email newbridgecommunityproject@gmail.com

Email:

keri.trigg@nwn.co.uk

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