Polegate Community Association in East Sussex has secured a £40,000 grant from Biffa Award, a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK.
The community centre refurbishment project, which was awarded funding under Biffa Award’s Community Buildings theme, will refurbish two kitchen areas. The Community Centre has also been successful in obtaining other grants to install a hearing loop system in the main hall, and replace the window in both main hall and lounge to ensure that the community centre minimises carbon emissions.
The Association was formed in 1961 by a group of local residents, whose aim was to further the educational and recreational needs of the community in Polegate. The well used centre is now 50 years old and looking tired. The Association would like to see it brought up to date whilst also increasing energy efficiency and reducing running costs. The kitchen refurbishment project will create a safer, more user-friendly environment for all centre user groups.
The kitchens serve a number of functions, primarily with a pre-school group every weekday morning as well as a number of groups from all ages and abilities within the community such as the senior citizens group. These improvements together with the new windows and the hearing loop system will make the whole centre a much more welcoming community space.
Patricia Payne, Vice Chair, Polegate Community Association, said:
“This is a wonderful opportunity to upgrade and improve a community resource. The building is pivotal to the community and used by over 1,000 people per week from ages and abilities.”
Jim Dobell, Drama Group President, Polegate Community Association, said:
“As the drama group puts on two plays and a pantomime annually and other entertainments were we provide refreshments for the audience, the kitchens form part of the overall package we provide. Roughly 2,000 people a year are entertained in this way in our community centre.”
Gillian French, Biffa Award Programme Manager, said:
“The project at Polegate Community Centre will make a positive difference to the lives of local people who currently use it, as well as those who will use it in the future. It is particularly commendable that the project will also reduce the centre’s carbon footprint.”