Fund-raising for the new community centre in Honiton stands at more than £28,000 so far.

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Four trustees of the Friends of the Beehive have stepped down - however, the group has high hopes that the controversial community centre will be open for business this time next year.

That was the message from members at their annual meeting, held last week.

Peter and Val Hayward, Margaret Mundie and Vivienne Ash, all long-standing supporters of the £2.2m project, stood down from their posts as trustees and were thanked for their hard work.

Members heard that tender bids are being opened on December 7 and, if they are within the price expected, building work will start in January.

Chairman Michael Teare said: “It is a great time to be a Friend of The Beehive, as we can look forward to helping achieve the best possible facilities for the town, counting down to the opening of the Beehive and then helping to make it a success.” He went on to thank town clerk Lyn Hargood for “revamping the charity’s finances” and for her “invaluable help in so many other ways”.

He also thanked Councillor Sharon Pavey and those who have helped with fund-raising for their “tireless efforts”, which have so far raised more than £28,000.

New members Lindsay Hyslop, Ian Foot, Richard Maddox and Roger Sleeman were elected onto the committee.

Secretary John Burgess also reported that the membership of the charity had increased to more than 60 members and that local organisations were also becoming members.

The group hopes to host their next annual meeting in the Beehive.

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