RESIDENTS are rallying around in a desperate effort to raise the money for much-needed renovations at the Chelmsley Wood Baptist Church Centre.
A new home for the community hub, used by some 400 people a week, was originally promised as part of the North Solihull regeneration project.
But locals were left in the lurch after it was revealed just over a year ago that plans had changed and this part of the scheme had been dropped from the redevelopment.
Funding has been secured for around two thirds of the £600,000 needed for repairs, but the centre is still frantically trying to find the remaining £200,000.
The ageing premises, in Hedingham Grove, were built in 1970 and work is urgently needed to renovate and upgrade the building.
Neil Roberts, baptist minister, said it was critical that the centre continued to provide the services that were needed in the area. “It is frustrating that we were sold the promise of a brand-new facility and then taken out of the plan, having to sort this out for ourselves. However, the community have really got behind us, we’ve had someone run a marathon, people bringing loose change in - we’ve got around £1000 that way. It’s so important we remain here at the heart of the local area.”
The centre, due to be rebranded as The Three Trees, will be shutting for improvements to begin in a few weeks and it’s hoped it will reopen in October.
Earlier this month, Mr Roberts voiced his fears at Full Council and urged closer co-operation between the community and council.
If you can help the appeal, visit www.threetreescentre.org.uk.