Work is now underway on building a new community centre in Lincolnshire village Mareham le Fen, which will replace a 100-year-old tin and timber hall.
Focus Consultants is project managing the scheme, having earlier supported the Village Hall Management Committee in securing a grant of just over £500,000 from The Big Lottery Fund. Other main funders include WREN, a not-for-profit grant-giving business, who donated £50,000, and Lindsey Action Zone.
The committee has raised further funds through community events and donations to cover the overall £800,000 cost of the project for the new multi-purpose building, which will serve the residents of Mareham le Fen, situated between Horncastle and Boston, as well as the surrounding parishes.
Long-standing community member John Ellwood was given the honour of cutting the first sod. He was accompanied by pupils of Mareham Le Fen Church of England Primary School along with their headteacher Avril Moore.
Graham Beacham, chairman of Mareham le Fen Village Hall and Memorial Lawn Management Committee, said: “This is a great day. It’s so good to see the start of a new centre for the community. It has been quite a journey, but with the support of so many, success has been achieved.”
Focus Consultants building surveyor Chris Smith, who grew up in the village and played a key role in helping to secure the Big Lottery Grant and in taking the project forward, said: “A new community building for Mareham le Fen is long overdue and I am delighted to have played a part in getting the scheme to where it is now, with a start on site.
“Focus is project managing the development and I am looking forward to seeing the building taking shape over the next few weeks and months.”
Local company Taylor Pearson has been contracted to carry out the building work, which is due to be completed in November 2017. The Boston office of Focus Consultants is handling the project management side of the scheme.
Additional funders who are supporting the building include Lincolnshire County Council, East Lindsey District Council, Garfield Weston Foundation, Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation and Lincolnshire Co-op Community Champions.
Focus, which has its headquarters in Nottingham and other offices in London, Leicester, and Aubourn in Lincolnshire, offers a range of services in funding and economic development, project management, sustainable development and building surveying.
Since 1994 Focus has also secured for clients more than £953 million of grants for projects and businesses across the UK and delivered more than £1.3 billion worth of projects and programmes – making it one of the most successful businesses of its kind in the country.