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Community hub's Lottery windfall

PUBLISHED: 08:17 07 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:17 07 November 2017

Staff and volunteers at the Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford celebrating after being awarded a £112,500 grant by the Big Lottery Fund. Picture: Courtesy of Terry Jermy

Staff and volunteers at the Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford celebrating after being awarded a £112,500 grant by the Big Lottery Fund. Picture: Courtesy of Terry Jermy

Courtesy of Terry Jermy

Staff and volunteers of an ever-growing community hub have plenty to celebrate after being awarded a substantial lottery grant.

The Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford. Picture: Ian BurtThe Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford. Picture: Ian Burt

The Charles Burrell Centre, in Thetford, has been awarded a grant of £112,500 by the Big Lottery Fund after showcasing the invaluable support it provides to the community.

The not-for-profit organisation is based in the former Thetford Academy south campus building and is run by a team of 140 volunteers, some of which were students and teachers of the former school.

In the two years since it opened, it has helped 44 local businesses to thrive in their rented units, supporting education, community groups and local business growth.

But the future is looking even brighter thanks to the lottery grant which will be used to refurbish many defunct areas of the building to make them fit for purpose.

The Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford. Picture: Ian BurtThe Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford. Picture: Ian Burt

This includes improvements to the main hall, training rooms, toilets as well as the opening of a viewing balcony, roof repair work and conversion of the library and changing rooms.

Chairman of the board Terry Jermy said staff and volunteers were “absolutely delighted” with the news, adding: “We are really pleased, it is the biggest amount of money we have applied for.

“There were six different bids discussed at the committee meeting and apparently ours was the easiest yes.”

Mr Jermy said the panel for the Power to Change lottery fund was impressed by how the Charles Burrell Centre has helped the community to thrive.

“We were able to demonstrate that the community supports what we do,” Mr Jermy added.

“A significant percentage of our income is earned, we do not rely on fundraising but we are a community business by definition and the profit we make gets ploughed straight into doing good things for the community.”

The grant is part of a match funding scheme which requires the centre to raise a further £37,500.

Over the coming weeks, the centre will be launching a roof tile appeal which will allow residents, businesses and community groups to sponsor a roof tile and pledge their support towards the centre.

For more information about the roof tile campaign, call the Charles Burrell Centre on 01842 779867.

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