Church and town council to benefit from thousands in grant funding

Rector Sheila Anthony outside St Mary's Church, in Bluntisham

Rector Sheila Anthony outside St Mary's Church, in Bluntisham - Credit: Archant

Two good causes have benefitted to the tune of nearly £100,000 between them in the latest round of donations from the Mick George Group’s charity fund.

Huntingdon Town Hall. Picture: ARCHANT

Huntingdon Town Hall. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

St Mary's Church at Bluntisham-cum-Earith will receive £67,879 for work towards its massive re-ordering programme and Huntingdon Town Council will get £30,000 towards its community internet suite and outreach library for the Coneygear Centre which is currently under construction.

The money has come in the third of four annual community fund donations handed out by construction services firm Huntingdon-based Mick George to community projects in the areas where it operates.

This time around six good causes will receive more than £175,000 on top of the £558,000 already donated this year, taking the total since the fund started to around £3 million.

The Rev Sheila Anthony, rector at St Mary's, said: "We are delighted to have been awarded a grant from the Mick George Community Fund for our reordering project which will transform our Grade I-listed church.

"For quite a few years now we planned to reorder the church. However, the church has suffered the impact of having lead stolen from the roof on two separate occasions over the past few years which has caused considerable distress to the church family and community and a delay in the project."

She said: "This grant enables us to complete the first part of the project replacing old, rotten pews with chairs and uneven floor areas with new stone flooring. This will give the church a much improved interior and greater seating flexibility which will give increased community use."

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The reordering programme is designed to bring the church up to date and make it more of an attraction for users from across the community.

Shilpa Desai-Sakaldip, manager at the town council's Medway Centre, welcomed the grant which will help put the internet suite and library into the new Coneygear Centre.

She said: "I think Mick George has done a great deal for the community. We have had a lot of requests for a community internet suite and we are aware that there are people who are sitting at home unable to look for jobs online and fill in official forms because they do not have the computer equipment and the skills to use it," she said.

She said the suite meant users would not have to travel into the town to access computer equipment which would benefit people with mobility problems.

Shilpa said there was demand for library facilities at the new community centre.

The town council has also made a successful bid to the innovate and cultivate fund at Cambridgeshire County Council so it can put on the Coneygear Seniors project at the Medway Centre.

The scheme, which will move to the Coneygear Centre, is aimed at people over 65 and tackles both loneliness and isolation issues in the community as well as encouraging healthy and active lifestyles.

The new sessions are on Wednesday morning and the first saw 35 attend and carry out a range of activities, including plant pot decorating, dominoes and chair-based exercises, followed by a two course healthy meal.

Places are still available and bookings can be made on 01480 388677.