Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Fundraising total reached for hall works

By Danny Law

FUNDRAISERS at a Donside community hall are celebrating after receiving a cash windfall of almost £70,000 - meaning long-overdue improvement works can at last get underway.

Members of the Tullynessle and Forbes Hall and Community Association have spent the past two years raising the £450,000 required to allow major refurbishment works to take place at their local, and much-used community hall.

The last piece of their fundraising jigsaw fell into place after the Marr Area Committee gifted a £6,600 grant from its community top-up fund to help the fundraisers.

This cash enabled the release of further funding - £60,000 in total - from the SITA Trust - a funding organisation which supports community and environmental improvement projects.

Drennan Watson, 69, fundraising co-ordinator of the Tullynessle and Forbes Hall and Community Association, said: "The fundraising has lasted over two years and it is fantastic that we have finally managed to raise the £450,000.

"It is increasingly important to renovate this building as there has been a big increase in its usage in the past few years. More and more houses are being built in the Alford area without any increase in local facilities.

"We negotiated a grant of £60,000 from the SITA Trust, but in order to get it they have to receive 11% of that figure from a third party, which was £6,600 in this case. Therefore we had to find a third party to pay that
amount or we would have lost the grant."

Marr Area Committee chairwoman, Councillor Moira Ingleby, said members had been impressed by the group's fundraising efforts.

"The local area top-up fund, together with funds from company trusts such as SITA, enables Aberdeenshire Council to continuously improve community facilities and support projects which are important to local residents," she said.

"The committee was very impressed with the research that the group had carried out as to the value of the hall to the local community. The group managed to raise a lot of the funds by themselves.

"It is an absolutely vital facility as it serves a large rural area and it is used by a great variety of groups. It is absolutely within the Marr Area Committee's policy to assist with projects such as this."

Work is already underway to extend the north and south sides of the building.

Via Deeside Today

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