Amazing £74k grant to help fund community hub for Fulflood

St Paul’s Church is thrilled to have secured a £74,350 grant from Biffa Award, a multi-million pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through awarding grants to community and environmental projects across the UK, as part of the Landfill Communities Fund.

The grant, which was awarded to the Building for Life project under Biffa Award’s Community Buildings theme for Phase 1b, will provide a kitchen, accessible toilets, utility/craft activity room and mezzanine community meeting space. By upgrading the facilities, the project will greatly improve what for many years has been a valuable hub for the local Fulflood community.

Already around 900 people visit the St Paul’s site each week to worship, play, learn, dance, pray, sing, meet, exercise and attend concerts. But currently the church itself lacks facilities that are viewed as normal in the 21st century, with no toilet or kitchen in the building. And apart from the wonderful schools there are very few community facilities in this area of Winchester.

This phase of the Building for Life project is part of a massive, ambitious plan which includes upgrading to full accessibility and will eventually re-use the whole church site.

Canon Peter Seal, rector of the parish, said: We really want to play our part in preserving the vibrant community feel in this part of Winchester. We want our buildings to be enjoyed and used more and to be a focal point for people living in Fulflood and Weeke.

Silvia Brown, Supervisor of St Paul’s Pre-school, said: A very pressing difficulty has been the fact that the site has only two toilets to serve the pre-school, visitors to the church and other site users. The Building for Life project will improve facilities within the church building but as a side effect, the pre-school will have sole access to the hall toilets, which will solve the safeguarding issues teachers currently face daily.

MP Steve Brine said: The Community Day at St Paul’s was the first ever constituency engagement I attended in May 2010 and is a wonderful example of many hundreds of people of all ages and backgrounds coming together for recreation, food and drink, live performances, children’s entertainments and much more. While the church does a great job hosting the local community in this way, it will be so much easier when there are accessible toilets and a proper kitchen.

Gillian French, Head of Grants, Biffa Award, said: It is so important that we continue to invest in community buildings like St Paul’s Church which provide a space for people to meet and socialise. Supporting the project to upgrade its facilities will ensure that the community has a fit-for-purpose building to use for years to come.

Large community events like this children’s music workshop, and our annual Community Day (below), need better toilet and catering facilities