We have achieved a major milestone at Strutts with the start of construction of the lift shaft to enable all our users to access the first floor where the largest and best rooms are located.
Progress can be seen on Facebook for those of you who know about these things.
To date, this is our largest financial investment in the site and represents a tremendous achievement for a project that started from scratch.
The lift will enable us to develop the upper rooms for new uses, such as the provision of a studio theatre space and to bring the refurbished library into use.
The funding has come from donations from individual and user groups, together with a grant from the Ryklow Trust and matched funding from our own trading income.
Strutts Community Centre has recently held its annual general meeting and re-elected the Trustees of the Guardians of Strutts charity that owns and runs the site for the benefit of the township of Belper.
We also have a new management committee of Belper Strutts Society which supports the project with its fundraising efforts and volunteers.
We are an independent organisation that costs ratepayers nothing and have achieved a financial surplus which will all be reinvested into the project.
This surely is a model for other communities to follow.
The number of people and groups using the building has increased significantly in the last year as word spreads about the activities that take place here and the facilities available.
We have reached a point where we need to fundamentally reconsider how best to run a busy site with our limited resources.
Strutts relies entirely upon the efforts of unpaid volunteers and we need more practical support from the community of Belper.
We want to progress the project to the next level and welcome any sensible suggestions or offers of help for the future.
Belper is a community of more than 20,000 and voluntary effort is needed, not just at Strutts but with other deserving causes, to make it a caring and vibrant place to live.
I would like to take this opportunity of thanking all our volunteers for their efforts over the last 12 months together with my thanks to our users.
You can all make a difference to your community.
If you would like to help in any way with the Strutts Community Project please contact me, Nick McLeod, at Strutts on 01773 599993.
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