A FUNDRAISING bid has been launched to build a £1m church and community centre in Gosport.
Senior leaders at Waterside Community Church in South Street want to have a multi-purpose building with beds which could be used as a homeless shelter and for conferences.
Planning permission has already been granted to replace their 1969 building but senior leader Andy Viccars said the church now needs to raise cash.
He said: ‘We have to start construction within three years in accordance with planning permission.
‘We also need to do some fundraising because we don’t have enough money to build the building yet.’
As reported in 2008, when the plans were first drawn up, the current one, which has a hall, vestry and small kitchen, is limiting their work.
And Mr Viccars is talking to Gosport Borough Council about using new short-stay residential facilities for homeless provision.
He added: ‘If there’s something that we can help with, such as people who are homeless, than we’ll do that.
‘The decision hasn’t been made but that’s an option available to us that we’ll be looking at.
‘We wanted to serve the greatest need in the community, so we’re very flexible with how we do the building.’
The church will have an office, main hall, creche, a library, and six parking spaces. The beds will be apart from the main building.
Councillor Graham Burgess is deputy leader at the council and chair of its community board.
He welcomed the potential new homeless accommodation.
He said: ‘Homelessness is one of our biggest concerns at the moment with Agnew House being full.
‘We’ve refurbed half of Barclay House and that is full. Anything would be welcome.’
As reported, the council plans to build council homes this year.