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£50,000 Grant towards Hall

Published Thursday 20 August, 2020
Last updated on Tuesday 22 September, 2020

Residents in Painters Forstal are one step closer to a new community hall thanks to a £50,000 grant from Swale Borough Council.

The open and modern community hall will be built on land off Painters Forstal Road and is designed to make the most of the surrounding countryside while having a minimal carbon footprint.

The environmentally friendly building will be a flexible space that can be used for sports, fitness classes, arts and crafts groups, children’s parties and coffee mornings, with additional space for a creche and much-needed local preschool.

A floor to ceiling glass wall will also feature along the west of the building providing a view of the nearby apple orchard, creating a welcoming space for weddings and bigger events.

The grounds will also feature a nature park, pond and outdoor seating area.

Painters Forstal Community Association have raised almost 70 per cent of the £500,000 needed to build the new community hall.

Professor Ben Bennett, Chair of the Painters Forstal Community Association, said:

“We are thrilled with the £50,000 funding from Swale council.

“We’ve raised more than £300,000 since we began the process in 2015, and a lot of the money has been from various grants, but more than £60,000 has been raised by the local community and through anonymous donations.

“We want to provide the village with a modern community hall that will help build community resilience and addresses the isolation of residents here.

“We hope to break ground and begin construction later this year and once we have planning permission, we can begin the final steps of funding.

Cllr Richard Palmer, cabinet member for community at the council, said:

“We are thrilled to help fund this community driven program that will result in a wonderful asset for everyone to enjoy.

“This project really is down to the hard work and conviction of the local residents and is a great example of how we can work together to deliver real change.

“We make £1 million available every year for special projects around the borough, and important projects like this show how these grants can make a big difference.”

You can read more about the grant funding.