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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Could Big Lottery bring back Civic?

HOPES are high that Whitehaven’s Civic Hall could be saved with a crucial cash boost from The Big Lottery.

By Mark White

The Whitehaven Civic Community Partnership (WCCP) has been working tirelessly in a bid to re-open the popular venue following its closure last year, which devastated the community.

In a make-or-break meeting with The Big Lottery next week, WCCP is hopeful of securing vital funding in its bid to secure the hall’s future.

The Partnership is also calling on local businesses to sponsor the Civic and is asking the public for ideas on how they would like to see the Lowther Street venue used.

Don Messenger, a member of WCCP and Whitehaven Male Voice Choir, said: “We have been asked to look further into the governance of the Partnership and are taking advice from Cumbria Voluntary Service in relation to this.

“We are exploring avenues of funding and are excited to meet with The Big Lottery next week to talk through our plans. We need large and small local businesses to support us by either pledging to use the Civic or sponsoring it should we be in a position to open.”

The Partnership is also detailing its ideas of how to generate funding and increase footfall to the Civic. It has already met with Copeland Council once and is putting together a full business plan ahead of a second meeting.

“We already have many ideas, but we would ask members of the public to get in touch with us with their ideas as to what they would like to see at their Civic,” said Don.

“The community have always been the heart of the Civic Hall and we aim to involve the public at every stage.”

Copeland Council took the controversial decision to close the Civic last October due to budget cuts.

The community rallied round at the time to try to save it with thousands of people attending a demonstration of protest against the closure and a petition of 1,380 signatures was presented to Copeland Council.

Pledges can not yet be made but anyone wanting to sponsor the Civic Hall can make a statement of intent to: info@whitehavencivic.co.uk or whitehavencivic@gmail.com.

Have your say

Whitehaven Civic Hall as we all the majority of buildings of the same purpose up and down the country rely on Council funding and always have. Not to run at a profit. The cost of running was decreased by half in its last year (2012-13) but unfortunately the council withdrew funding. Good luck to those working on a way to re open it for the people who used it and hopefully many more.

Posted by KJA on 28 April 2014 at 00:04

What Whitehaven needs is people like Carla Arrighi and Gerard Richardson to run it. But they are hard-working people, busy trying to make a living in a town under pressure. They need the support of ordinary Whitehaven folk, people like you, to give a bit of time and help when needed. Whitehaven can be a great town again, so why not think if there is any way you could help to make it better?

Posted by Claire Voyant on 25 April 2014 at 19:25

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