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VPCC in the News
2oth October 2016
Official Handover of the Community Centre from Sedgemoor District Council
Sedgemoor District Council is delighted to announce that a 125 year lease has been signed in relation to the much-loved Victoria Park Community Centre, Bridgwater. The lease has been signed between the council and the Newtown and Victoria Springboard Limited who have managed the centre for a number of years creating a vibrant and much-loved community facility. The lease was signed on 4th October 2016.
The Victoria Park Community Centre was completed in November 2007 and was funded by contributions from Somerset County Council; Somerset PCT; South West Regional Development Agency alongside Sedgemoor District Council who have overseen the project from its earliest beginnings.
Under the stewardship of Gareth Hughes, the Centre Manager and acting committee Chairman Mick Lerry the board of the Newtown and Victoria Springboard Limited have been working closely with the council for a number of years to both manage the centre on a day-to-day level and progress the centre’s transfer.
Councillor Dawn Hill, Deputy Leader for Sedgemoor District Council said “We are delighted that the original intention to hand the building over to the local community’s board has now been fulfilled. We look forward to seeing the centre continuing to meet the needs of the local community over the years to come and wish the board and centre manager every success in their continuing management of the buildings. This has been a labour of love for all involved and we would like to thank everyone involved in the project – from its earliest days to now.”
Gareth Hughes, Community Centre Manager said “It is great we have now taken on the lease from Sedgemoor District Council. The community centre as you visit it today is we hope as it was originally envisaged at its outset nearly ten years ago. We now offer activities for all ages from 0 to 90 years old. We have a dedicated team of staff and board members at the community centre. For example, if want your baby weighed, to enjoy a 3 course lunch or just an ice cream , come to a tap dance class, enjoy free computer use, have a children’s party, hire a room for 2 to 100 people, visit the Doctor or pick up a prescription you can do this at the centre. Our goal is to continue to provide good quality activities and services to the local community – and beyond – for many more years to come.”
Acting Chairman of the board, Cllr Mick Lerry said “As a Councillor for Victoria Ward, who is also on the Victoria Park Community Centre Board, we have been working towards the official handing-over of the Centre from Sedgemoor for some time. During the last 5 years the Centre has been run by the Board along with the Centre Manager and Staff. During that time the Centre has accommodated other users who have been looking for a location, such as the Bridgwater Area Association for the Elderly lunch club, Diversity Voice and the Credit Union. With Gareth Hughes, as the Centre Manager and his team, the number of users and income has increased dramatically. At the same time we have been successful in a number of project bids for extra funding and along with 18K annual core funding from Bridgwater Town Council, the Centre has a great future and is in a strong financial position. With the official handover of the Centre, the Board is now look forward to building on the last 5 years to make sure we have an inclusive, creative and active hub for the community.”
People living in Sedgemoor now have a friendly and inexpensive way of improving health and friendship with a tried and tested walking programme and you are invited.
Bridgwater College Princes Trust clear the garden’s at the centre
Bridgwater College Princes Trust worked tirelessly for two weeks clearing the gardens around the centre. The gardens are now looking superb; we wait in anticipation for spring to see the culmination of their hard work. The students also painted some fantastic canvases for the centre, which are hung in the foyer of the centre.
New Bridgwater Anti Rubbish Team (BART) ready to Clean Up Act!
Residents of Victoria Park area overwhelmingly agreed to form a voluntary group to clear up litter from the park, streets, canal and docks at a Public meeting yesterday organised by the Victoria Park Community Centre.
The initiative spearheaded by local resident Mark Hollidge told the meeting “Three years ago as a dog walker and cyclist I was fed up with seeing litter everywhere and decided that I could either accept it, moan about it or change it. I decided to try and change it”.
Doreen Baker the Manager at Victoria Park said “I applaud Mark’s commitment to this initiative and his determination has paid off. Not only have we enlisted the support of local residents and users of the canal who can choose to work on land or on water, but also Sedgemoor District Council and British Waterways”.
For further information contact BART’s organiser Mark Hollidge on 01278 410790 or [email protected]
Bridgwater Mercury – Victoria Park Community Centre opened in Bridgwater – 16-6-11 VPCC launches the new Cafe on the Park, Martial Arts Centre and the Lola Fisher Dance Academy..