Workshop trust hits Crowdfunder target in bid to retain fire station for the community

PUBLISHED: 10:26 02 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:26 02 September 2020

East Devon MP Simon JUpp (second from the right) with trsutees of the Budleigh Community Workshop Trust. Picture: Budleigh Communiy Workshop Trust

East Devon MP Simon JUpp (second from the right) with trsutees of the Budleigh Community Workshop Trust. Picture: Budleigh Communiy Workshop Trust


Volunteers in Budleigh Salterton hoping to raise enough funds to buy the town’s former fire station and turn it into a community workshop have hit their fundraising target.

Budleigh Salterton fire station closed its doors for the final time in April this year, after Devon and Somerset Fire Authority backed controversial proposals put forward to save cash but also to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Service.

The affected firefighters are now responding from Exmouth and Sidmouth, and the two-storey building is set to be auctioned off in September, with a guide price of £125,000.

Budleigh Community Workshop Trust (BCWT) has estimated that around £200,000 may be needed to be able to complete the purchase, and raised £150,000.

Last month a crowdfunding campaign was launched to raise the last £50,000 and, after East Devon District Council’s Community Grant Panel unanimously supported pledging the last £4,867, the target has now been met.

Committee chairman Cllr Jack Rowland said that it was an excellent project, and said that he would support pledging the remaining funds, while Cllr Helen Parr added: “This is a tremendous vision to get such a building for the community and an excellent cause.”

BCWT plans include the creation of a workshop and other recreational facilities for the community to enhance skills, confidence and inclusion, with volunteer-led activities made available to individuals who have need for such facilities by reason of their age, infirmity or disability, financial hardship or social circumstances, with the object of improving their conditions of life.

READ MORE: East Devon MP supports workshop bid for Budleigh’s former fire station

Speaking after the meeting, Bill McDermott, chairman of BCWT said: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the public in getting behind the crowdfunding campaign and also in their enormous enthusiasm for a workshop in the community for the community.

“The public have dug deep and come up trumps.

“We now hope we are able to succeed in our bid to retain the fire station in the community.”

The Fire Station was due to go up for auction on September 10, although the meeting heard that this may change to ‘best bids’ submitted instead.

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