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Lottery setback

By Peter Harris


Plans to build a church and community centre have suffered a setback after Bingham Methodist Church failed in its bid for £1/2m from the lottery.

The church applied for the maximum amount from the Big Lottery Fund’s Community Buildings programme, but failed to reach the second stage of the application process.

The church is now looking at other ways to pay for the £1.9m project.

Bingham Reconstruction and Development has raised just over £1/2m and is applying for other money towards the project.

The project co-ordinator, Mr Rob Bailey, said the lottery bid had been a long shot and they were still confident of reaching the target. He said the plans remained the same and there were no suggestions of downsizing the project.

Mr Bailey said: “It is one of many we are applying to.We are applying all the time. It’s an ongoing process. We will just continue the process until we get the money.

“This is a very much-needed facility in the centre of Bingham.”

Planning permission has been granted for the new church and community centre and work is due to start in 2009.

A new building is needed because of the age of the current one, and to meet disability requirements.

The church has applied to several charitable trusts for money and has asked Bingham Town Council for £400,000.

Mr Bailey said they were looking to receive a significant amount of money from two trusts and will receive a large amount from the Methodist Church.

Mr Bailey said the new facility was much needed in the community and the existing building was used by many people.

He said that of the 47 groups using the Methodist Church a majority were not Christian-based.

A spokesman for the Big Lottery Fund, said: “The Community Buildings programme is highly competitive and received far more applications than it can fund.

“The Bingham Methodist Church submitted a strong project, but it was up against over 2,000 other applications that were applying for funding from the Community Buildings programme, and the committee had to make some tough decisions.

“Overall the programme has a total of £50m to award and has had over £607m requested in applications.”

This setback comes after calls were made for a town referendum to decide whether or not Bingham Town Council should give £400,000 towards the plans to build the centre.

Mr Markham Dawn of Rothbury Grove, Bingham, wants a parish poll because he does not believe the council should contribute to the centre because the money could be better spent to help more people.

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