£80,000 grant will mean community hall is rebuilt
Residents have won their fight to have their demolished community hall rebuilt after council chiefs stepped in to stump up £80,000 for the facility.
Epworth's Albion Grove residents had been lobbying social housing landlords North Lincolnshire Homes to replace a facility that was lost when some bedsits were bulldozed on the site as part of a multi-million-pound plan to provide better accommodation for the elderly.
A public meeting held last month resulted in North Lincolnshire Homes agreeing to look at ways in which it could develop the hall, should funding be secured elsewhere.
And now Councillor Liz Redfern, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, councillor David Robinson and Isle MP Andrew Percy have managed to secure an £80,000 grant from North Lincolnshire Council.
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The cash has been awarded from the council's new community budget – and jubilant residents have welcomed the news.
Tony Catherall, 72, of Epworth said: "It's excellent news. It's been a battle but with a little bit of people power, we got there in the end. Residents will be delighted with it and I'm sure one or two will want to get involved with its development. I am really pleased for them."
Local residents will be asked to be part of a project to design the new facility by working in partnership with North Lincolnshire Homes, which maintains and manages the council's housing stock.
It is hoped the facility will be adopted by local residents and used for community events all year round, such as bingo sessions and coffee mornings.
Project leaders hope to have a planning application ready to submit by spring 2013.
Mr Percy said it had taken a long time and a lot of hard work to secure the funding.
He said: "This is excellent news for residents and I am pleased that we have been able to secure this money."
Mrs Redfern added: "This is really good news for residents and will help to support them to live more independently in the Albion Hill development.
"I hope they will be able to use this new community hall for social evenings with their friends and neighbours."
Martin Phillips, development manager for North Lincolnshire Homes, said: "We are delighted that the local authority has managed to secure funding to provide a communal meeting room at the Albion Grove development.
"The inclusion of such a facility was a big issue for the residents, with whom we have been consulting for many months.
"We will now be working in partnership with them and the local authority to develop the design and location of the facility within the overall development at Albion Grove.
"We look forward to delivering the communal meeting room and the much-needed affordable homes in Epworth."