PAT KERRY REMEMBERS...Part 2 of 3

This month Pat Kerry, Calow's longest serving Parish Councillor, continues his story to Janet Mort about his 55 years on Calow Parish Council...

Over the years, the Parish Council and other members of the community have played a central role in shaping the village of Calow as we know it today - none more so than in the provision of our Community Centre.

For over a decade the new Primary School housed a community facility but it was becoming increasingly clear that the people of Calow would be best served by a separate Centre. Little did anyone realise the challenges and hard work that would be necessary to achieve this...
The Parish Council and a newly formed Community Centre Committee set to work.

Space was not a problem. A site adjacent to the Primary School with access from Allpits Road was identified as the most suitable place for a free-standing Centre.

Obtaining the necessary funding was a much more difficult proposition. A design and build scheme was put together to deliver the project, which would cost in the region of £500,000. Parish Councils, as public bodies, cannot bid for funding. Instead the Community Centre Committee became a Registered Charity, so that it could seek funding in its own right. In negotiations with the County Council, the Parish Council sold the Community interest in the school back to the County for £90,000, which was then given to the Charitable Trust. Funds were also obtained from the Coalfield Regeneration Fund, the East Midlands Development Agency, a Waste Recycling Group, Landfill Tax Credit and the National Lottery.

In all, after a huge amount of time and effort by many people over three years, all funding was in place and on the 28th June 2002 the Calow Community Centre was opened.

It is perhaps, fitting that the Parish Council now holds all its meetings there. But the Centre is also home to a wide variety of community activities including:Yoga, Pilates Townswomen's Guild, Tae Kwondo International,Playgroup, Little Ninja Kickboxing, Indoor Bowling, Tea Dances, Ballroom Dancing and Zumba. It has been described as a 'brilliant place for a party' and parishioners have also praised the 'great facilities', its 'welcoming atmosphere' and the fact that it is 'always spotlessly clean.' There is no doubt that all the hard work of so many people paid off to provide such a great asset for the people of Calow.