Final Funding Offer Received For St Martin’s Centre

St Martin’s

The final funding offer for the St Martin’s community centre project has been received from Defra.

They called Chairman Keith Bradford yesterday to offer an additional £28,000 because it’s a year since their original offer and costs have risen.

They also want a shower to be added to the scheme. Committee member Rod Bluff says it won’t be used every day, just in emergencies if people need to be put up in the hall in a crisis.

Keith says they can now start spending money on the project, which will provide a community social space, meeting room, gym and doctors surgery.

Keith says everybody has done a huge amount of work over the last 15 years to get to this point.

Islanders have raised £115,000 of the £700,000 project through fundraising, like the recent fete that brought in £7,000 with a sizeable donation. The Local Action Group has also made grant offers.

He says the costs may seem huge but it will deliver huge benefit to the community and also to the island’s visitors.

Defra will now send a contract and then a funding schedule will come, which will allow the committee to draw down cash every few months.

The project could start in the next fortnight and will take 44 weeks to complete, although there’s always the potential for breaks in the work if anything noteworthy is uncovered by archaeologists during the build, which is near to historic sites like Knackyboy Carn.

Keith says is little too early to talk about approaching people to open the centre but if a celebrity made themselves available he is sure they be interested in having a chat the community.