KINGSLEY Village celebrated the completion of a new £100,000 extension to the local community centre with a special open day and grand ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Dozens of residents and community groups gathered at Kingsley Community Centre on Smithy Lane to inspect the new airy room, which gives the building another 50 square metres of floor space to provide extra meeting facilities and a green room for theatre productions.
Managed by Kingsley Community Association (KCA) and run entirely by volunteers, the popular centre is home to a variety of groups, from the multi-award-winning amateur theatre group Kingsley Players to the Women’s Institute, Youth Group and Gardening Club.
It is also hired out on a regular basis for classes in yoga, Pilates, karate, Zumba and Tai Chi and as a venue for Cheshire Rural Touring Arts, and private events like birthday parties, ceilidhs and dinner dances.
Securing funding to pay for the new extension was a mammoth community effort and included numerous grant application bids. The National Lottery Community Fund gave £35,000, DEFRA’s Village Hall Improvement Fund and Tarmac (under the Landfill Scheme) both provided £15,000 each and £6,000 was donated by Kingsley Players. The rest was raised by the KCA.
Elizabeth Batey, KCA chair, said: “The new extension to our centre is a great addition which will enable us to add to the services we can provide for the village. It was only made possible through the support of our main funders – National Lottery Community Fund, DEFRA’s Village Hall Improvement Fund and Tarmac – to whom we are very grateful.”
The centre was initially built in 1976 by Kingsley residents, who undertook its construction as a self-build project on land leased to KCA by the local authority. KCA receives no public subsidy to run the building, which is financed entirely by hire charges and fund-raising activities.
Malcolm Barker, who has been a leading member of Kingsley Players and involved with the community centre for more than 40 years, was invited to cut the ceremonial ribbon. He said: “I am delighted to officially open the new extension. The centre was built in 1976 by the people of Kingsley, for the people of Kingsley, and it is encouraging to see the continued strength of this community spirit.”
For more information about hiring or getting involved with Kingsley Community Centre, please check out the website: www.kingsleycommunitycentre.co.uk