Community Hub and Topsham Library

Estuary receives major investment from the Big Lottery Fund

Local charity, Estuary League of Friends, has been awarded a major grant worth £778,100 to redevelop Topsham Library Site and build a thriving Community Hub in its place.

The grant will fund the demolishing of the pre-fabricated, temporary Library building just off Topsham High Street and the redevelopment of the site into a two storey, multi-purpose Community Hub comprising: a day room, community café and kitchens, exercise and fitness room, wheelchair access wet rooms and toilets, laundry room, improved Library facilities, and serviced offices.

This development will result in 850 square metres of community space compared with 117 square metres currently available to the public.  Hub services and activities will be available to people living in communities from Exeter to Exmouth – such as Topsham, Countess Wear, Ebford, Exton, Clyst St George and Cat & Fiddle Park and Clyst St Mary.  It is anticipated that up to 4,200 local people will use the facility each year and that 240 volunteer opportunities will be available annually.

Estuary League of Friends has now raised nearly 85% of the £1.95 million needed to build the Community Hub.

This grant means that work can begin on site in 2017.  It is anticipated that the Community Hub will open its doors for the first time in 2018.

 Chief Executive, Rachel Gilpin said:

“We are over the moon.  For years we have been extremely stretched trying to support more and more local people who come to us for help.  This grant from the Big Lottery Fund means that our plans for a thriving Community Hub will soon become reality.

We have been overwhelmed with the generosity of local people who have responded to our fundraising appeals.  It is brilliant that national funders like the Big Lottery Fund are just as willing to invest in our community.”

 Chairman, Dr Kate Hattersley said:

“This grant comes at a time when spending cuts have forced many other providers to reduce services or close altogether.  The Community Hub will be an exciting space where people can come together and where the most vulnerable can access a wide range of services.”

Ciara Eastell, Chief Executive of Libraries Unlimited said:

“This is fantastic news for the Estuary League of Friends and for the people of Topsham and the wider area. We are excited at the prospect of providing improved library facilities in the new building.

She continued: “We look forward to seeing work start on site and the Community Hub become a reality. We are committed to looking at available alternatives for continuing to provide library services in partnership with Estuary League of Friends whilst building work takes place and are currently evaluating temporary provision options in Topsham.”