Brighton community centre faces closure months after winning lottery cash

Posted On 14 Jul 2011 at 12:46 am

A Brighton community centre is threatened with closure despite recently being part of a successful lottery funding bid which was awarded £360,000.

The Bridge in Lucraft Road, Moulsecoomb, faces becoming homeless because it is in a building that looks likely to be demolished.

A spokesman said: “Brighton and Hove City Council will soon be considering proposals for a new development where The Bridge is currently housed.

“This will mean demolition for The Bridge’s current site.”

Spacewords Brighton

The centre is based in a building in the grounds of the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, formerly Falmer High School.

It was set up in 1999 and part-funded by the New Deal for Communities scheme until 2008.

Since then money has been raised from a number of sources.

The recent award from the Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities programme helped to ensure that The Bridge’s work was on a firm financial footing for the coming few years.

Vulnerable

Those using The Bridge include vulnerable adults, those with low-level qualifications or none at all and those with health or social care needs.

But the charity’s bosses said yesterday (Wednesday 13 July) that if The Bridge cannot find a new home then valued services will be lost including

  • Up to 50 free or cut-price courses and workshops a term for adults aged 16-plus with about 800 enrolments each year
  • A work and careers advice service and job club which helped 232 people last year with skills mapping, CV writing and job search support
  • IT, literacy and numeracy support and free access to computers and the internet
  • A well-established volunteer programme supporting up to 90 people a year in a variety of work settings
  • Outreach and community development work

Jayne Ross, chief executive officer of The Bridge, announced the appeal, saying: “We have a highly qualified and experienced team at The Bridge working collaboratively with volunteers and past users of the centre.

“Everyone has worked so hard to secure funding to be able to continue to offer our services to the community.

“It will be heartbreaking to see that work go to waste if we are not able to secure a future home for The Bridge. 

“We are appealing to everyone, regardless of their location, to help us find a home.

“If you are a past user of The Bridge, a resident of Moulsecoomb, or simply fellow residents of Brighton and Hove, please help us.”

The Bridge has set up a petition. To sign it, click here.

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