Budleigh Community Workshop Trust claim victory in bid for former fire station

Helen Warren (Chaiman, Chamber of Commerce), Bill McDermott (Chair BCWT), Mike Hilliar (Town Mayor),

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 - Credit: Rosemarie Davis

Budleigh Salterton’s fire station has been secured for the community, according to the town’s community workshop trust chairman.

Devon and Somerset Fire Authority said they have accepted a bid for the building, but cannot confirm who has won it at this current time.

According to Bill McDermott, chairman of the Budleigh Community Workshop Trust (BCWT), the station, which has been closed since April, is now the property of the trust and will soon be transformed into a community space.

The trust has been fundraising to raise £200,000 towards the purchase of the building, including a successful Crowdfunder campaign which generated £50,000 in 27 days.

Initially BCWT was set to bid for the building in an auction on September 10, however Devon and Somerset Fire Authority decided to change to a sealed bidding process.

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Workshop chairman Bill McDermott told the Journal that process had been successful and the trust would get the keys to the former fire station by the end of September.

He said: “It’s been a sleepless period for us and it’s been quite emotional and some tears have been shed.

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“We’ve had been donated a phenomenal amount of money by the generosity of people.”

East Devon MP Simon Jupp congratulated the trust.

Posting on Twitter, he said: “The former fire station will be the home of the new Budleigh Community Workshop after their bid for the building was successful.

“Thank you to everyone who donated and the team behind the project who worked so hard to turn a dream into reality.”

District councillor for the Budleigh ward Alan Dent also passed on his congratulations via Twitter.

He said: “Brilliant news that the BWCT won the bid for the Fire Station.

“Congratulations to all concerned and particularly Bill McDermott who has led from the front.

“Terrific effort and now the real work for our community can begin.”

A spokesman for the fire authority said: “We can confirm that we have accepted an offer for the site of the former fire station in Budleigh Salterton.

“This offer is subject to the contractual arrangements being met, which we hope will be completed soon.

“The accepted offer gave the best price for the site, the proceeds of which will go towards our aim to make our communities safer by working to prevent incidents from happening.”

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