Big Lottery Fund invests £475,000 in South Liverpool
Published by Roisin Rowley-Smith for Riverside in Communities and also in Housing
Local charity, Merseyside Somali and Community Association (MSCA), is celebrating a half million pound investment by the Big Lottery Fund to turn their centre in Granby Street, Toxteth, into a new multi-use community resource. The grant is one of the biggest ever awarded under the Reaching Communities Buildings programme.
Mrs Insaf Hagelsafi, Centre Coordinator said:
“This grant will really open up our building. We will be able to invite new individuals and groups to use the fantastic new facilities and work together for the benefit of the whole community. That is why we called the project ‘Building Links’.
“Two years ago social landlord, Riverside, offered to gift the building to us for £1, if we could raise Big Lottery funding. We worked with Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services (LCVS I United Way) to develop a business plan and write the bid. Comtechsa Community Architects created imaginative designs and guided us through the technical aspects of the project.
“Of course the real work starts now. We can’t wait to get the building finished and start working with the community to provide activities and services that meet real need in very difficult times.”
Steve Long, the new Chief Executive at LCVS I United Way, said:
“The vision of MSCA and two years support from Liverpool City Council, Riverside, Comtechsa and LCVS / United Way has secured this major investment. Our priority is to bring people together for positive change in communities and we will continue to develop innovative opportunities for individuals and groups in Liverpool. The success of this bid was an example of partnership work at its best.”
Divisional director from Riverside, Neil Townsend, said: “We have a long and established relationship with the Somali Centre and will continue to work with them into the future. It’s great that they now have the financial resources to go from strength to strength.
“Our gift of the building, which was valued at £40,000, was approved by our Board, supported by tenants and the Homes and Community Agency. The outright ownership of a building in the neighbourhood has been instrumental in the success of the Big Lottery Fund application and will give a lasting legacy to the neighbourhood.
“We are looking forward to supporting the steering group to oversee the delivery of this project and wish the centre every success in developing even more community cohesion through a range of new activities.”
Nigel Mellor, Chair of Comtechsa said:
“We are really pleased that the charity has succeeded. This scheme will really improve the accommodation and facilities available. It’s taken a lot of hard work by all those involved, but I am sure it will be well worth the effort. “
For further information please contact Insaf Hagelsafi on (07720) 434 284, (0151) 726 0594 e-mail email@example.com