St Martin’s Hall Awaiting Final Funding Decision

St Martin's

St Martin’s Hall Committee members are waiting for news about the funding bid for their community hall.

An application under the Community and Social Enterprise Scheme went in during June, but there’s been a delay in the decision as the funding that was formerly administered by the Regional Development Agency has now shifted to Defra, and the Government is taking stock of that agency’s operations.

Rod Bluff says they hope to receive 80% of the projects costs but locals have already brought in £115,000 on the island through events like the annual summer fete. Last year’s generated £6000 and next Wednesday’s event could bring in a similar amount.

Rod says they’ve received three tenders from builders, one from the islands, but they haven’t appointed anyone yet.

If the cash is forthcoming, the building work will start in October and the new facility should be ready for next year. When the hall is opened, running costs will be met by rental fees, which currently stand at £1 an hour and also from events. Insurance will be more expensive but with sustainable heating and a newer building to maintain, running costs it should even out, says Rod.

The project has seen a lengthy application process with re-drafts and changes because of the site proximity to the Knackyboy Carn, and the size and scale of the original plan.

It’s been repositioned further back from the road and now has all the necessary planning consents.