A COMMITTEE behind a community centre has signed a new lease with Cheshire West and Chester Council to secure the future of the building for the next quarter of a century.
Officially opening in 1976, as part of the newly-built infant school, Tarvin Community Centre near Chester has always played an important part in village life as the centre for village activities and is run by a committee of volunteers.
With the lease secured the community centre is to seek grant funding to embark on a new development programme designed by its dedicated committee to bring into community-use a large storage area with the provision of a bar and lounge.
The lease signing was celebrated with a special reception at the centre, based on the village’s Meadow Close.
Alan Wilkinson, chairman of the management committee, said: “Like many such organisations, Tarvin Community Centre has had its ups and downs but in the last five years has become thriving and profitable once again.
“It has taken a lot of hard work and dedication to get to this point. The centre is in use nearly every day and the income from this is vital to pay our share of the everyday running costs, roughly £23,000 a year.
“As well as our regular activities we put on a series of events to raise funds so that we can keep on improving facilities.
“The security of a long lease is vital to this work.”
From ballet classes to keep fit, flower arranging to parish council meetings and Women’s Institute evenings to private parties, the community centre provides excellent facilities including full disabled access, off-street parking and free wi-fi.
There is a local library service and the centre is a promoter of performances sponsored by Cheshire Rural Touring Arts.
It has started a Friday Family Film night to great acclaim, with two separate films for family and adult audiences.
The centre will welcome Nottingham Playhouse for the first time on May 31 for the next Cheshire Rural Touring Arts production The Second Minute.
The committee plans to send a questionnaire out to the community in the next few weeks, asking residents on their thoughts and needs from the centre in the future.
Cllr Mike Jones, who has supported this project, said: “I am delighted to see Tarvin Community Centre’s committed volunteers’ hard work to turn this building in to a thriving focal hub for the village pay off.“
The council is a firm believer in the concept that local people truly understand local need and indeed are often best placed to deliver it, and the success that the community centre has enjoyed over the past few years has seen it go from strength to strength.
“The signing of the lease means that the committee can now bid for grant funding to support and expand their aims and aspirations and I would urge as many local people as possible to get involved and share their views about what Tarvin needs.”
To find out more about the facilities available and events taking place at Tarvin Community Centre visit www.tarvincommunitycentre.org, www.tarvinonline.org.uk or on Facebook at www.facebook.co./tarvincc.
See full story in the Chester Leader