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Grant secures course future


A community workshop scheme in Ollerton has been given a £50,000 grant to help keep it running for two years.

The Dukeries Community Workshop, which meets at the Dukeries Complex, will receivethe money from the Nottinghamshire Community Foundation’s Robin Hood Fund.

It will help pay the workshop’s two paid staff, a full-time workshop technician and a part-time administration assistant.

A member of the workshop’s management committee, Mr Colin Thompson, said the grant would help towards covering their running costs of around £30,000 a year.

The workshop, which has more than 100 members, provides regular courses including wood carving, stick making —where people make intricately carved rambler’s sticks — mosaic glass and fused glass-making.

They have recently bought a kiln costing around £3,000 that allows members to fuse different colours of glass together.

Mr Thompson said they always tried to accommodate for the different interests of members and provide the courses they wanted.

The workshop is open to anyone aged 18 and over.

The aim is to give people the chance to learn new skills or pass on the skills they have to others.

It was originally set up for unemployed miners after the closure of the Ollerton pit in 1994 and was run by the Dukeries College.

For ten years the workshop has operated independently of the college and has to find its own money for rent and equipment.

The workshop is run voluntarily apart from the two paid positions.

The workshop co-ordinator, Mrs Sandra Jackson, said the future of the scheme looked uncertain because a two-year grant from the Coalfield Regeneration Trust will run out at the end of March.

“This new grant means we can survive for another two years,” she said.

The Nottinghamshire Community Foundation is a member of the Community Foundation Network, the national support agency for community foundations.

It is paid for by donations from local businesses, individuals and government grants.

There was a lot of competition for grants from the fund, with bids from across the county totalling nearly £7.4m.

The total amount that was paid to successful organisations was just over £540,000.

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