River Gardens tearoom fundraising campaign off to a good start

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Plans for the new tea rooms at Belper River Gardens are gathering pace with a public fundraising scheme pulling in £3,500 in just two months.

The “Buy-a-brick”initiative to help fund building works on the ambitious project is reaping the rewards of community support.

As well as the £3,500 from individual sponsors, the Friends of Belper River Gardens have donated £1,000 to kick start the next phase.

Les Dorey, one of four directors of the community interest company running the project, said, “This support is amazing and is vital evidence of the strong public interest in getting the new tearooms.

“This should unlock substantial funding from grant making bodies to pay for the new building.”

The process of refining the design, consultation and obtaining planning permission has now begun and its hoped to have this completed by Christmas—which could allow for construction to start next year to have the tearooms open in 2018.

The building will complete a transformation of the gardens led by community groups in recent years.

Three local firms have also made offers of help following a presentation to business leaders on September 5, with other parties discussing further interest.

Les said: “These offers will help significantly go towards reducing the costs of the project and partnerships of this kind bring all round benefits.”

Members of the public can buy a brick via the website www.belpertearooms.co.uk or can pick up a form at the Strutt’s Centre, Belper North Mill or St John’s Chapel.

Firms interested in joining the project can find out more by sending an email to info@belpertearooms.co.uk.