AVONWAY is close to raising all the money needed to repair its leaky roof.

A fundraising appeal was launched back in October 2019 to raise around around £70,000.

The Fordingbridge and District Community Association, a charitable organisation which manages and maintains the community centre, in Shaftesbury Street, was awarded a grant of £22,300 from New Forest District Council - funding half the estimated cost.

A spokesperson for Avonway said: “We are delighted that the New Forest District Council has offered to fund half of the estimated cost of the roof replacement at Avonway.

“With the grants offered by Fordingbridge Town Council, New Forest councillors Ann Sevier and Ann Bellows, County Councillor Edward Heron and the generous support of many Fordingbridge residents we are very close to raising all of the money needed.

“Detailed work can now begin to check how costs have changed through the pandemic and to do the essential preparation to timetable the project for later in the year.”

The project involves repairing the building, including the deteriorating roof which requires re-felting, re-battening and re-slating.

The roof currently leaks, is poorly insulated, and costly to maintain.

Work will also be carried out to remove two redundant chimney stacks.

Last November, Fordingbridge Town Council agreed £10,000 of funding to help with the costs of the work needed at Avonway.

And thanks to a grant of £17,183 from the TH Russell Charitable Trust, Avonway was able to have new automatic entrance doors installed. It is hoped the doors will make it easier for elderly and disabled users to access the centre when it is able to reopen after lockdown.


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