Lottery boost for community hub project

CAMPAIGNERS hoping to turn the derelict Burnfoot Roadhouse into a community hub were raising a glass in celebration this week as the project took a huge step forward.

An application from the Burnfoot Community Futures Group to the Big Lottery Fund has cleared the first hurdle and will now go forward to the second, and final, stage, which will be considered next year.

Chairperson of the group, Zoe Hall told the Hawick News: “It’s really exciting. I couldn’t believe it when they told us we’d got through the first stage. This is great news.”

The funding bid is for £1.1million which would allow the group to purchase the former pub and transform it into a facility for the community which would include a cafe, play area for children and a meeting place.

Zoe said: “It would offer somewhere for the people of Burnfoot to go during the day, with a cafe and play area.

“It would be a place where older people could meet because there’s nowhere like that for them up here, and it would just be a great place for people to come.

“It’s an opportunity for the people of Burnfoot to meet up and generate some community spirit.”

There are currently ten people on the management committee of Burnfoot Community Futures, who organised the hugely successful Easter event earlier this year, although around 100 people have signed up to be members. They are also helped by a community development worker and community health worker.

The next stage of the funding process will involve further applications, but Zoe stressed how important it was for people on the estate to get involved in the group and the project. She added: “We’re trying to make a difference. If we can get the community hub then everything we do will be based around that.

“People have been asking for years for a community cafe and somewhere to go. They’ve always been promised something but nothing’s ever happened. Now is the chance.

“With the next application we have to make sure everything tallies up and we need to prove we can be self sufficient within five years. Most of all though, we need more people on board. We need to prove that this is wanted by the community.”

Anyone who would like to get involved can contact Zoe on 07432615351 or email: zoemariehall@yahoo.co.uk