Great news - the construction of our new lift is finally complete!
We only need the installation of a fire detector before we can commission the lift for general use.
We will redecorate the areas affected but this will follow later as funds permit.
We cannot emphasise the significance of this step as it opens the largest and best rooms in the building to all our users.
We have been planning the lift for five years and often unexpected problems arise during any construction works in old buildings, so as a precaution we limited other capital spending.
Fortunately the problems have been relatively minor and we have kept within our budget.
This is the most expensive project by far that we have undertaken in the nine years that we have been open as a community centre.
Our sincere thanks go to the many people who have made donations towards the cost and our users who through their room hire fees have helped to make it possible.
We are now in a position to plan the next stage of development of the centre.
We aim to consult with the various user groups to ensure that our plans meet their needs, which in turn will ensure the sustainability of the centre in the long term.
It is interesting at this point to reflect on the recent general election, which is always a good measure of the state of the nation, with the manifestos outlining the priorities of the various political parties.
I have looked in vain for specific mention of the provision of community facilities.
Presumably responsibility will be passed to local authorities who will be forced to make yet more cuts to local services and will be unable to provide funding.
While we can campaign against cuts that significantly affect our quality of life it is clear that communities have no choice but to take matters into their own hands and do something for themselves.
Our lift project is an example of what can be achieved by local people.
I would like to take this opportunity of thanking all our volunteers for their efforts and our users for their support.
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.