Major funding gift for tea rooms plan

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Plans to see new team rooms built at Belper River Gardens are one step closer after town councillors approved £100,000 funding.

The grant has been offered on the condition that organisers Belper Community Enterprise secure planning permission and that they have already secured the rest of the funds needed and appointed a contractor for the build.

Councillor John Nelson, leader of Belper Town Council, said he hoped the project would go ahead.

He added: “The sooner this happens the better - it will enhance the river gardens tremendously.

“But I have to congratulate the committee for their work and fundraising.”

If the tea rooms go ahead they would have capacity for 170 people and would feature two serving areas and three toilets.

Aside from Belper Town Council’s contribution Belper Community Enterprise will need to raise more than £500,000 to see the project completed.

Spokesman Trevor Griffin said he was hopeful that the rest of the funding could be met through a number of originations, including Amber Valley Borough Council, contributions from local industry and fundraising efforts such as its own buy a brick appeal - which has already raised around £10,000.

He added: “We are confident - the building looks a lot like the tea rooms that were there before and everyone who sees the plans has liked then, so that is positive.

“There was a major refurbishment of the tea rooms ten years ago and there was always an intension to re-open the tea rooms - most other parks have that facility.”

Councillor Gary Spendlove, Belper Town Mayor, said “I am so pleased to see the good progress towards the completion of the Belper River Gardens tea rooms.

“By good housekeeping and excellent fiscal responsibility Belper Town Council are delighted to confirm the grant of £100,000 to the project subject to the group meeting the relevant criteria.

“The River Gardens have for many years been a jewel in the crown for Belper. As a young person I enjoyed many hours rowing up the River Derwent towards Ambergate and can think of nothing better on a summer afternoon.

“Congratulations to Trevor, Richard, Janet and the rest of the team for their determination to complete the project.”

To find out more about the project visit http://www.belpertearooms.co.uk.