Delight as centre is given a reprieve

PEOPLE are celebrating after being told that a vital estate centre will be able to stay open for at least another year.

The Evening Telegraph previously reported that the Hemmingwell Community and Skills Centre in Nest Farm Crescent, Wellingborough, could be forced to close if it could not secure enough funding by the end of March.

But Simon Trundle, chief executive of the Hope Project, which runs the centre, said funding had now been secured to allow the centre to remain open for the next year and hopefully beyond.

He said the expense of meeting overheads and running costs would be met by funds associated with the centre starting to deliver courses for young people who are not in education, employment or training and for Key Stage 4 and 5 school age children.

Mr Trundle said: “I am personally delighted that through the efforts of our dedicated staff and in partnership with the Hemmingwell Residents’ Association and Wellingborough Council, which owns the building, we are able to continue to deliver a fantastic facility for the local community.

“So many people benefit from using the centre, including the Friday night Nest Youth Club, Hit The Beat dance group and the weekly resident drop in, that I could not accept we had to close.”

Cathy Mulholland, chairman of Hemmingwell Residents’ Association and a volunteer at the centre, said: “We started a ‘Save our Community Centre’ group on Facebook and more than 500 people signed up to show their support. I am delighted to be able to say that we are staying open.

“The estate would be lost without this centre and the local residents need to support it in any way they can by volunteering, supporting events that we put on and by helping to fundraise for the centre.”

To celebrate the centre remaining open a special concert will take place there at 7.30pm on Saturday with singer songwriters Brian Houston and Steph MacLeod.