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02.09.05
Work Starts On Multi-purpose Blisland Community Centre

Villagers in Blisland on Bodmin Moor are celebrating today with the start of work on a £573,000 multi-purpose community centre to replace the rusting shipping container that has been home to their post office and village shop for the last six years.

Ever since the original post office and shop closed in 1999, villagers have been running their own from the donated container. Now, thanks to an investment of £230,000 from the South West of England Regional Development Agency (RDA), £157,000 from the Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and more than £50,000 raised by villagers themselves, Blisland can look forward to a brand new multi-purpose centre for the whole community.

The new centre, which is being built on the site of a former bus garage by the Redruth office of local builders Rok, will include a post office, village shop, GP consulting room, computer access and three small business units available to rent.

Stephen Bohane, head of operations in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly for the South West RDA, said: "This new centre will provide a range of facilities for Blisland and surrounding parishes that will be run by the community, for the community. We are backing the project through our Rural Renaissance programme which invests in projects that support and develop the rural economy in innovative ways. This project highlights the South West RDA's increased focus on making rural services more accessible to local communities."

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, said: "Objective One aims to increase wealth creation in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and community led regeneration initiatives are a key part of this. The residents of Blisland have worked long and hard for this centre and I am certain they will make it a success."

North Cornwall District Council Chair of Regeneration Cllr Neil Burden said: "North Cornwall District Council is pleased that this important community project is at last underway and I am glad that the Council has been able to financially assist and that the Council's Strategy and Regeneration Service has been able to help this vibrant and hard working Community Association reach its aspirations.''

Denise Holman from Blisland Parish Council said: "We've been living with our rusty old shipping container for six years now and it really was on its last legs so we're absolutely thrilled that work has started. We've had a huge amount of support from the community and all our funders and we can't wait to move in."

Cllr Andrew Mitchell, Cornwall County Council Executive Member for the Economy, said, "Regeneration is best driven by real local enthusiasm. Here is a small community which has raised an impressive amount of money towards their vision of greatly improved local amenities, and the County Council is pleased to have played its part in backing that vision."

As well as the South West RDA, Objective One and community funds, funding for the project has come from Cornwall County Council, North Cornwall District Council, Blisland Parish Council, the Countryside Agency, the Post Office and Tridos Bank.

The new centre has been designed to a very high standard and in line with the latest sustainability guidelines. It has been positioned to take maximum advantage of the sun and will include photo-voltaic panels, rainwater recycling and be highly insulated.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Blisland community centre through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

For further information please contact Jason Clark of Deborah Clark and Associates Ltd on 01872 276276 or email: jason@dclark.co.uk.

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Editor's notes:

The South West Regional Development Agency was established in 1999. Our most important role is to ensure the long term economic success of the region, by promoting the right skills among its workforce, the most innovative businesses, and a high quality environment.

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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