Dunford Parish Community Centre users floored by Banks Group grant

May 30, 2017 | Community News

Barbara Cockburn, chair of the DPCA, Lewis Stokes of the Banks Group, DPCA treasurer Alec Barber and trustee Edward Cockburn

Users of a busy South Yorkshire community centre have been floored by a renewable energy firm – and they’re more than happy about it.

The Crow Edge Community Centre and its adjoining playing fields are looked after by the Dunford Parish Community Association, which has been responsible for carrying out a programme of major repair and improvement works at the Centre over the last few years in order to secure the building’s future.

Having completed all the structural work that was required, the Association had been looking for ways to improve the wooden floor of the centre, which was in need of significant attention in order to bring it up to scratch.

And after it won a £4,283 grant from the Community Benefits Fund linked to Banks Renewables’ nearby Hazlehead Wind Farm, the Association has been able to commission local firm Harper Flooring to fully sand and reseal the floor, as well as to bring in 55 new metal chairs which will be used during the events and activities that the centre hosts.

It’s the third time that Banks Renewables has contributed towards improvement works at the Crow Edge Community Centre, with grants in 2013 and 2015 totalling almost £10,000 supporting different parts of the repair work carried out at the 60 year-old wooden building.

The Crow Edge Community Centre was originally founded in the 1960s as a sports and social club for employees of the Hepworth Iron Company.

It is leased by the Community Association from and operated on behalf of Dunford Parish Council, and is available to host a range of events and activities for individuals and groups from the local area and beyond.

Alec Barber, treasurer at Dunford Parish Community Association, says: “The Centre is one of very few venues of its type in the local area, and a great deal of work has been carried out on the structure of the building over the last few years to ensure it has a secure and sustainable future.

“We’ve long wanted to put some attention to the floor and bring it up to the standard that we think it ought to be reaching, but with the available budgets being required for other more urgent building improvements, this hasn’t been possible until now.

“The continuing support we’ve had from Banks Renewables has enabled us to get what was quite a big job done far earlier than would otherwise have been the case, and also to get it all done in one go, which has minimised the disruption that it has caused to our users.

“The floor now looks so much nicer and has really had a positive impact on the whole environment in the building, which will hope will encourage even more local people to make use of the facilities that we can offer for their events and activities.”

Eligibility for funding from the Hazlehead Wind Farm Community Benefits Fund is normally restricted to schemes within the parish of Dunford, but projects outside this area may be eligible if it can be shown that they benefit people living within it.

Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at Banks Renewables, adds: “The commitment and hard work of the volunteer members of Dunford Parish Community Association has secured the long-term future of an invaluable community venue, and we’re very pleased that revenues generated by our Hazlehead wind farm are continuing to contribute to their work.”

Groups interested in applying for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 to check if their group or project is eligible.

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