Strutts Logo Run by volunteers for Belper

Belper News Article 22/06/15

Strutts and the Community

We have reached the end of yet another financial year and it is an appropriate time to review our plans for the future. Preliminary results show that we have again increased our income and this is further evidence of the growing demand for community facilities in Belper. This has all been as a result of the hard work of our volunteers and we are struggling to keep up with the requests of our users to keep the Centre open for seven days a week. We cannot do this without more help to run the building and are facing the possibility of reducing the opening hours. The increased usage has also caused more wear and tear on already well used and worn facilities.

In our first 5 years of operation we have made progress in making the building more water tight, but most of this work is unseen. It will take a great deal more money to complete the job but hopefully the worst has been addressed to a stage where we can make some progress visibly on the interior. We are making plans for spending on refurbishments in the next 12 months, but we need more voluntary help to start the redecoration. With 20 rooms to paint it is a huge undertaking and the materials alone are in the order of £500 per room. We have shown what can be done in the library which has been restored to its former glory, and we want to make a start on the main hall.

We need to refurbish the toilets which were designed for use as a primary school and not a community centre for adults. Also we are finalising our plans for a passenger lift to gain access to the first floor and have increased the size required which will obviously increase the costs significantly.

With a majority Conservative government it is inevitable that central funds for communities will be progressively cut and local government will have no choice but to reduce spending on non-essential areas. This means that unless the community of Belper is prepared to take action it will lose out. Strutts Community Centre is self-funding and does not cost the rate payers a penny. We have shown what volunteers can do but we need more help if we are to sustain the good work that we are doing for the community of Belper.

If you would like to help in any way with the Strutts Community Project please contact me, Nick McLeod, at Strutts tel: 01773 599993.

Nick McLeod

Chairman of Trustees

Guardians of Strutts