Village centre to continue after council funding boost

Tanterton Village Centre, Kidsgrove
Tanterton Village Centre, Kidsgrove
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A community centre is to be run by an action group for another year, after leaders proved themselves to Town Hall chiefs.

Tanterton Village Centre Ltd took over the running of the Kidsgrove building in 2014, after it was “tinned up” following the closure of Signposts.

Bosses at the charity say turning the venue around has been “harder than we ever imagined”, but say the grant from Preston Council will help them to survive another year.

Trustee Alan Brookes said: “It shows that the council is happy with the progress we’ve made over the last two years, and is happy to continue funding us for another year.”

He said the organisation had now employed a youth and community outreach officer, and said: “This means, with the building secure for another 12 months, and the community outreach officer in place for 12 months minimum, we are hopefully going to make it meet our targets of improvement.”

Mr Brookes said the function of the new officer, Ryan McMylor, was to encourage people to use the centre, and improve the contact between the centre and the community.

He said the centre was working to offer sports activities such as boxing, badminton and football, and said: “It targets the types of things that, hopefully, the youth of the area might be interested in.”

The centre will hold an open day on October 14, to showcase what has been done so far.

The action group was handed the keys to the centre in April 2014, and Mr Brookes said: “It’s been a lot harder than I think we ever imagined.

“The tinning up of the centre for 12 months set us back a lot further than we imagined.

“It has been difficult for people to accept it and come and use the centre, but we are getting there bit by bit.

“It’s a bit like trying to stop and turn around an oil tanker - it’s just very hard work.”

A community cinema is due to be ready at the centre over the coming weeks, also hoped to increase visitor numbers.

Coun Martyn Rawlinson, Preston Council’s cabinet member for resources, approved a grant of £6,340 to TVC Ltd for 2016/17 following a successful annual review, and agreed the building is to be leased rent-free to the organisation for a further 12 months.