Bid to retain Budleigh’s fire station for community workshop project

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 August 2020 | UPDATED: 09:46 03 August 2020

Helen Warren (Chaiman, Chamber of Commerce), Bill McDermott (Chair BCWT), Mike Hilliar (Town Mayor), Katie McDermott (Trustee), Dr Richard Mejzner and Marc Jobson (Budleigh Hub). Picture: Rosemarie Davis

Helen Warren (Chaiman, Chamber of Commerce), Bill McDermott (Chair BCWT), Mike Hilliar (Town Mayor), Katie McDermott (Trustee), Dr Richard Mejzner and Marc Jobson (Budleigh Hub). Picture: Rosemarie Davis

Archant

A plea has been made to help a group of Budleigh Salterton volunteers retain the town’s former fire station as a community asset.

The former station is set to go under the hammer in September and the Budleigh Community Workshop Trust (BCWT) believe the building is ‘ideally suited’ for use as a community space.

BCWT has been working for two years on plans for a workshop and community space open to all in Budleigh and the auctioning of the former fire station has presented them an opportunity to make this a reality.

The fire station has been closed since April this year after Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority decided to move Budleigh’s fire engine to Exmouth.

‘Substantial’ funds have already been raised by the trustees of BCWT towards purchasing the building, which goes under the hammer though Countrywide Property Auctions with a guide price of £125,000.

BCWT is now appealing for the community to raise funds or to make donations towards acquiring the former fire station.

The building will be auctioned on Thursday, September 10.

Bill McDermott, the chairman of the trust, said: “As we are all aware practical and creative activities are essential for the well-being of individuals and the community and a workshop providing a wide range of opportunities will enhance skills, confidence and inclusion and will prove a valuable addition to the local area.

“Our aspiration is to make the community workshop socially inclusive and diverse, focussing wherever the need is, so that young adults and older generations can develop skills and enjoy the social and creative opportunities the workshop will provide.”

The BCWT is partnering with the Budleigh Health and Wellbeing Hub and the medical centre as well as other charities with the objective of enhancing the opportunities for improving the health of the community.

The trust is hoping to capitalise on strong support for a scheme which keeps the fire station in the hands of the community.

A spokesman for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: “Firefighters from Budleigh have now transferred to Exmouth and have significantly added to the availability of fire engines in the area.”

Anyone who is able to help should email BCWT


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