Cullompton community centre

Firm foundations to be laid for new community centre in
Cullompton

11 January 2011

A new community centre for Cullompton will become a step nearer
reality next week when the foundation stone of the £1.5 million
project is laid.

The Bishop of Crediton, the Right Reverend Robert Evens, and
Cullompton’s Town Mayor, Cllr Wendy Gillings will be putting the
foundation stone into place at St Andrew’s Church in Church Street
on Thursday 20th January 2011. Invited guests, such as local
councillors, members of the church, people who took part in public
consultation about the centre, partners and funding agencies, will
see pupils from the town’s St Andrew’s Primary School and
Willowbank Primary School and children from St Andrew’s Church bury
a time capsule next to the stone. The capsule is being put together
by the youngsters in an effort to reflect life in Cullompton in
2011.

The stone-laying event will be hosted by the Reverend Edward
Hobbs of St Andrew’s Church who took to the controls of a JCB two
months ago to take the first ‘scoop’ of earth towards digging the
foundations for centre. This next step in the project is an
exciting one for the local community and one which the Bishop of
Crediton has been looking forward to.

“The laying of the foundation stone means the new Community
Centre is about to become a reality,” he said. “It shows how a
partnership between local Christian churches, community groups and
civic leaders can offer a unique gift to the people of Cullompton.
When the building is completed I hope many will feel welcome and
enjoy being part of it.”

The building work has been made possible after St Andrew’s
Church received a grant of £700,000 from the Rural Development
Programme for England (RDPE). The RDPE grant – the largest given to
a community organisation to date – followed a grant from Devon
County Council for £250,000, a grant from Uffculme Environmental
Ltd (in partnership with Viridor Credits Environmental Company) for
£31,365 and £341,000 raised by the church itself. Successful
application for RDPE funding followed consultation with local
businesses, communities and individuals.

When complete the community centre will provide a variety of
much-needed facilities and services for people in and around the
town and is a key part of its regeneration. It will be built next
to the Grade 1 listed St Andrew’s Church, replacing the two
existing church halls that were demolished to make way for it last
year.

“This new building will be a focal point for our community and
the laying of the foundation stone marks the beginning of a new
chapter for Cullompton,” said Cllr Wendy Gillings.

“Many people have fond memories of the previous building and I
am sure that many new memories will be made in the new one. So many
people have worked together to make this vision a reality and I am
honoured to have been asked to be a part of it.”

The multipurpose centre will include small meeting rooms, office
space and a venue where conferences, concerts and productions can
be put on with a seating capacity of up to 180 people. It will be
fully equipped with audio/visual technology, kitchens and lift.
There will be an entrance ‘hub’ area where people can drop in
during the week and browse at a bookstall, relax and have a coffee.
Local groups and organisations will also be able to hire rooms.

It will be fully accessible to people with disabilities and its
sustainable design will use the latest construction technologies to
cut the carbon footprint by 85% compared to equivalent use of the
former halls.

Note to editors

You are invited to send a photographer, camera crew or reporter
to cover the laying of the foundation stone by the Bishop of
Crediton, the Right Reverend Robert Evens and Cullompton Town
Mayor, Cllr Wendy Gillings at 2pm on Thursday 20th January 2011 at
St Andrew’s Church, Church Street, Cullompton EX15 1JU.

For more information, please contact the Project Manager Simon
Friend on 01884 258691 or 07970 100 846.

Cullompton Community Centre – work so far

November 2010

  • the two existing church halls were demolished to make way for
    the new 9,250 sq ft building
  • following a competitive tender, regional contractor Pollard was
    appointed to carry out the work
  • the Reverend Edward Hobbs of St Andrew’s Church took to the
    controls of a JCB to take the first ‘scoop’ of earth towards
    digging the foundations for centre.

September 2011

  • anticipated completion date of construction.

RDPE

The Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) runs from
2007 to 2013. It is an important part of the Common Agricultural
Policy and helps create genuinely sustainable farming, forestry and
food sectors, whilst also bringing wider benefits for the economy,
the environment and rural communities. It is the European Union’s
major investment route for protecting and enhancing the environment
while securing a range of public benefits for society. Defra is the
Managing Authority and is delivered in the region by the South West
RDA, Natural England and the Forestry Commission.