£38k National Lottery grant has helped guarantee the future of Coldstream Community Centre

Coldstream Community Centre.Coldstream Community Centre.
Coldstream Community Centre.
A vital community resource in Coldstream was in it to win it after landing a £38,000 Lotto grant.

Coldstream Community Centre, which has been closed to the public since Boxing Day last year, has been awarded the cash from the National Lottery’s Community Fund to revamp its kitchen facilities and pay for additional staff costs ahead of a planned reopening of the much-used premises in the week beginning May 17.

The money is a godsend for the complex, based in the former St Cuthbert’s Church, and will also pay for an upgrade in care facilities and extend the range of activities and classes offered in its High Street base.

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Susan Burnett, chair of the community centre’s board of trustees, said: “The Lottery funding will also help us upgrade our booking system which is another thing that has come out through the lockdown, in that people are more used to using online systems now, whereas before they would just turn up and buy a ticket.

"The funding is over two years and going forward it makes us more confident that we will be able to survive after this and gives that bit of extra confidence now and we also know we’re doing something the community wants, having consulted with them.

"We need cupboard space in the kitchen replaced, we need a new extractor fan and improved lighting as well.

"Coldstream is quite poor for refreshments and catering facilities and on Sundays there is nothing open and if people are having a class they can have a cup of tea afterwards.”

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The Church of Scotland sold the listed building in 1988 after which it was converted into community use.

Susan added: “Initially it was a space for youth projects and an after-school club, and those projects still run in the building.

"We always knew that work needed to be done and I think it was really a case of being alerted to the fact that people really did depend on the centre for classes, for events.

"They weren’t able or didn’t want to travel to Berwick or to Kelso or further afield and I think that prompted us to look at what we could do to improve some of the classes that we provided. I think lockdown certainly speeded up the process of us doing this application.”