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Major refurbishment for community centre thanks to £240,000 secured by Cornwall Council

Camborne Community Centre is set for a major refurbishment thanks to a £240,000 cash boost from Cornwall Council secured from a nearby housing development. 

The funding will enable the centre’s committee to carry out much-needed structural repairs to a building that is used by many community groups in Camborne – from Citizens Advice to martial arts clubs. 

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The cash will be spent on replacing the flat roofs on the main building, masonry and chimney repairs, refurbishment and replacement of the rear windows, removal of a dangerous extension and internal redecoration. 

Once the work is done and lockdown is over, it is hoped that the residents of Camborne will be able to make full use of a transformed facility to reconnect with each other, meet new people, learn new skills and get involved with new activities. 

When a planning application is submitted, the Council secures money through what is known as a Section 106 agreement. 

This cash is then spent on a range of improvements in the wider area, from road schemes or new play parks to facilities such as those at Camborne Community Centre. 

In this instance, the cash came from money paid to the Council from a housing development near the Tesco store at Camborne. 

It was allocated to the project by the Section 106 Panel, which involved two Cornwall Councillors for the town, David Atherfold and John Herd, as well as its Community Link Officer and a representative from the Council’s Children and Family Services team. 

They worked to make sure that the community and its families got the best possible benefits from the investment in what is one of the most deprived communities in Cornwall. 

The building was constructed by the Basset family in 1876 and was originally a Counting House for the Tehidy Estate. 

It was gifted to the town in 1937 and since then has been open to the public and used by many local organisations. 

Community Centre chairman, Jean Charman, said: “In 2015 the Townscape Heritage renovated the front of the building and the roof, however drastic repairs are now needed to the rear, the chimneys are leaking, a dangerous cantilever extension has to be removed, plus much more.   

In view of this the trustees were absolutely delighted to know they were to be in receipt of a grant. 

This has been undoubtedly an amazing opportunity to complete essential repairs to the centre and help secure it for the people of Camborne in the future.” 

Vice-chairman, Val Dalley, added: “This will include new flat roofs, new windows where needed, repairs to the chimneys and everything needed to ensure the building is watertight and in good shape for the future. 

Tenders have been submitted and the trustees are in the process of appointing a contractor in consultation with the project manager.” 

Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for planning, said: “It’s great to see such a well-used community facility will be getting a major refurbishment thanks to money secured by the Council. 

When the Council gives planning permission to housing developments it always aims to make sure that the wider community benefits – and this is a prime example of that in action.” 

David Atherfold, Cornwall Council local member for Camborne Treslothan, said: “It’s good news for both the Community Centre and the people of Camborne that money can now be invested for the long term in the building and will be a welcome addition to what Camborne has to offer.  

It’s come after careful consideration as to how the funds could be spent to achieve best value and I am pleased that this is the outcome and would like to thank everyone involved in the project so far.”