Published: February 24, 2009
Campaign launched to secure future of Burnham Community Centre

Bosses at Burnham-On-Sea Community Centre have this week launched a campaign to raise thousands of pounds to pay for urgently needed repairs at the 150-year-old property.

The campaign, backed by, aims to generate enough cash to modernise the popular building in Berrow Road amid fears that its future could be in jeopardy due to financial cutbacks at Sedgemoor District Council.

Ken Hindle, Chairman of Burnham and Highbridge Community Association, which oversees the building, told "The building is in need of repairs costing totalling approximately £300,000 but our landlord, Sedgemoor District Council, is not in a position to help us financially so we are dependent on our own resources and local support."

"In the short term, we urgently need £50,000 to pay for roof repairs, new floor timbers, the plastering of walls, new ceilings, a modern disabled toilet and essential decoration."

"The centre is a valuable resource that's home to 50 groups which attract more than 1,000 visitors every month. If the centre were to disappear, it would never be replaced."

"This is one of the last surviving historical buildings in the town. Part of Burnham's history would be lost if it were to go."

An open day is to be held at the centre on Saturday March 28th, from 11am-4pm, when visitors will be able to show their support and sign up to a new 'friends' group.

Mr Hindle added: "Our secretary, Mary Miles, is launching the 'friends' group to attract a new band of supporters to the centre."

"The aims of the group will be to oversee fundraising activities, to undertake minor works inside, and to promote the centre across our community."

Local resident Alan Lovell is also helping the centre with its campaign and told "The centre is under threat, and no-one wants it to die. With strong support, though, it can be here for many years to come."

The centre dates back to 1837 and is currently used by more than 50 groups whose subject matter is as diverse as arts, crafts, exercise and faith groups. It is also home to Burnham Model Railway Club and Burnham War Games Society. The hall was taken over by the Community Association in 1971 and has 60 years left on its full repair lease. To help, contact Mr Hindle on 01278 787831.

Our photos show the centre in Berrow Road and, beneath, Ken Hindle and Alan Lovell holding a poster promoting the open day on March 28th


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