Christmas has come early for an ambitious project to turn a former church into a community centre.
The scheme, masterminded by the JPK Project, has been awarded £99,242 to help with the third phase of redevelopment of the Old Town building.
The grant comes from the Veolia Environmental Trust.
This phase of the four-phase project involves re-ordering the building’s interior and creating new facilities, including toilets, a commercial kitchen, a lift, function rooms and a shop.
Phase 1 of the project involved the purchase of the freehold and Phase 2 is to create eight independent living units for people with disabilities. Once Phase 3 is complete and funding is available, Phase 4 will create 16 ensuite studio flats.
The grant is one of 27 that the Veolia Board has awarded to community and environmental projects, with a grant total being over £875,000.
The Trust awards grants through the Landfill Communities Fund and since 1998 has handed over more than £2.8m to 115 projects in Sussex.
A spokesperson said, “We will now start working with the JPK Sussex Project to finalise this phase’s details, including its start date, so that work can begin as soon as possible.”
JPK trustee and project coordinator Jill Parker MBE said, “This grant is great news for the project and Eastbourne. A wide range of people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities will be able to use and enjoy this new community centre and the fact that Phase 3 can now start brings its opening one step closer.”
The executive director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, added “The JPK Sussex Project needs to be congratulated on securing its grant in the face of stiff competition from a large number of other applicants.
“The improvements will make a real difference to Eastbourne, and we look forward to seeing work start.”
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