Strutts Logo Run by volunteers for Belper

Belper News Article 23/04/17

Strutts Community Centre – Our Benefactors

The primary aims of the Strutts Community Centre Project are to maintain and restore the Grade II Listed School buildings to their original condition and to provide facilities for community activities. One of our biggest challenges is to ensure that our expenditure plans can be matched by our income without the luxury of borrowing for the renovations.

The School was originally built in 1909 and funded entirely by George Herbert Strutt at a cost of £20,000. When in 1913 “elaborate and expensive” plans were made by Derbyshire County Council to extend the school at a further cost of £12,000, George Herbert Strutt stated that “the idea that a school which I built, and which bears my name should in any way become a charge upon the rates, is most distasteful to me”. He then offered to pay £6,000 and provide the stone from his own quarry for the extensions. Following his sentiments we run the Centre at no cost to the ratepayers.

Unfortunately Belper no longer has the Strutt family as generous benefactors and we need to be creative in achieving our aims. The original business plan for the Project includes the limited use of space by commercial organisations to subsidise the community activities. This we have achieved with a whole range of businesses and governments bodies using our rooms.

The old Caretakers House at the rear of the site has been unusable in a semi-derelict condition for many years due to structural damage caused by water leaks and extensive dry rot. We do not have the funds to restore the house as there are many more pressing demands for our limited resources. I am pleased to announce that HSR Electrical Services have taken on the Caretaker’s House for business use and in return will fund the complete restoration including a new staircase, rewiring, new heating system, decorating and re-plastering. This arrangement will bring the house into productive use many years before we could have thought in our wildest dreams. As an added bonus we will always have an electrical contractor on-site for those problems which continually arise in old buildings!

I would like to take this opportunity of again thanking all our volunteers for their efforts together with my thanks to our users. You can all make a difference to your community. 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