Funding approved for significant improvements to the storage, toilets and cafe in St Francis Community Hall, Doncaster.

The community of Bessacarr in Doncaster is set to benefit from a renewed building at the heart of the estate thanks to a grant of £100,000 from FCC Communities Foundation.

The church / community hall was built in the early 1970s in the middle of a large housing development as a building with shared community and ecclesiastical use. Keeping the church at the heart of the community has been key to our vision ‘To be a growing and loving church family through which God transforms lives and builds community’ says Vicar Richard Heard. The Hall is the only space available to members of our community to hire for a wide range of purposes.

The project aims to make significant improvements to storage, toilets and cafe. These are seen by all as urgent to support the future life of the church and the wider community. The provision of a centrally based storage area is essential to allow refurbishment of the whole building to take place. Our current storage areas are spread throughout the building and this is proving ineffective and disruptive when running a busy Community Hall. It also is a barrier to developing the resource and enabling it to reach a greater potential. The provision of modern, purpose built and accessible-toilets is a key element in enabling all members of our community to access the hall and participating in events. The popular church cafe is an essential meeting place for members of the community. The kitchen was built as a domestic provision but there is a desperate need for this to be replaced by a modern, commercial area to serve the wider community.

Vicar Richard Heard of St Francis Church believes the facility will make a huge difference to the lives of people living in the area. He says: “This project will provide a real boost to the people of Bessacarr.  It’s fantastic that FCC Communities Foundation has awarded us this money and we’re really looking forward to our building taking shape over the next six months”

FCC Communities Foundation is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community projects through the Landfill Communities Fund.

Penny Horne, spokesperson for FCC Communities Foundation, says: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Doncaster – St Francis Community Hall Refurbishment project and pleased our funding will make such a difference to so many different groups of people within Bessacarr and the surrounding neighbourhoods. FCC Communities Foundation is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and we’re looking forward to this one having a positive impact very soon.”

Richard Heard hopes the new facilities will be ready to use by September this year.

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