Gosport community centre in need of £20,000

CASH REQUIRED Thorngate Halls in Bury Road, Gosport.
CASH REQUIRED Thorngate Halls in Bury Road, Gosport.

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PEOPLE in Gosport are being asked to get behind an appeal to renovate a popular community centre.

The ballroom floor at Thorngate Halls was recently replaced after it was damaged by floods in November last year.

But the Gosport Community Association, which runs the centre in Bury Road, still needs around £20,000 to renovate it.

Now the trustees are pleading with the public to help save the venue, which is used for various events across the community.

The cost of the dance floor was funded through insurance claims, but thousands more is still needed to improve the venue.

Lynn Croucher, the association chief executive, said: ‘We are investigating some options for grant assistance but there is little money about at the moment in this area.

‘We are taking advice on decorating from a local tradesman and hopefully we will be able to gain the assistance of some skilled volunteers or members to complete that area of work.

‘The trustees are disappointed in the lack of support that our appeal gained but will not let this stop them from reaching their goal.’

The centre still needs new chairs, tables, blinds, double glazing, staging and additional flooring for the ballroom reception area.

Mrs Croucher added: ‘The ballroom floor itself has been completed on time and the hall was buzzing at the weekend with a ballroom dancing competition.’

Trustees at the charity have been forced to use their own resources to fund the new carpet, and they are also working towards installing new windows and blinds in September.

‘However we have drained all our resources and it is vital that we gain support and continue fundraising,’ said Mrs Croucher.

‘Gosport needs this venue. It’s essential really.

‘The ballroom is a well used community building. Lots of groups use it.

‘It’s always our lifeline for finance. It’s what keeps us running as a community complex.

‘Once again if there is anyone who can assist us we would be grateful.

‘This is Gosport’s major recreational, social, and education facility and is a venue that the local population should be proud of.’

Councillor Peter Chegwyn, added: ‘It’s the main venue in Gosport. It’s of vital importance it survives. They always struggle to raise money.

‘But they do a fantastic job and in my view, they represent the community. They deserve every bit of support they can get.

‘But money is in short supply and groups like this are really struggling. It needs the support of the community.’

Some fundraising events have already been planned for the autumn including a Vegas themed music night on Saturday, September 3.

The ballroom is going to be officially relaunched in October.

To make a donation towards the appeal, or to buy tickets for fundraising events at the centre, please call (023) 9251 0012.