Happy ending to community use building saga in Honiton as £12,000 grant funding wins approval

PUBLISHED: 15:15 14 August 2019

Honiton's Community Use Building. Picture: Google Maps

Honiton's Community Use Building. Picture: Google Maps


A popular community use building in Honiton could finally become fit for purpose after the town council agreed to inject £12,000 towards its renovation.

The Community Use Building (CUB), in School Lane, could have been snapped up by the town council from Devon County Council in 2018, but a building and asbestos survey revealed thousands of pounds would have to be spent on its upkeep.

At a meeting held in March this year, members agreed the council should step aside and allow proposed community interest organisation (CIO) Honiton Community Spaces to explore taking it on. The CIO consists of trustees from Honiton Community College, Honiton Health Matters, Honiton Parent and Toddler Group, Honiton 729 Club, Honiton Youth Club and Men's Sheds.

Trustees attended the council's recent meeting on Monday, August 12, to hear councillors decide how the authority could financially assist the CIO.

The authority was asked to either provide an outright grant of £12,000, match-funding of £6,000 or give the CIO a loan.

Councillor John Zarczynski, chairing the meeting, said: "Personally, I don't really want to get involved with giving loans to groups. I think, as a council, we have this money and this is a very good cause. We should just allocate the money in the form of grant funding."

Cllr Zarczynski's proposal was seconded by Cllr Caroline Kolek.

Before the vote was taken, Cllr John Taylor raised concerns that the building still has asbestos present in it.

Cllr Kolek said Cllr Taylor was right to highlight the issue, and urged the council to ensure the new leaseholders of the CUB are pointed towards the council's concerns about asbestos.

One of CIO's trustees, Stephen Craddock, said the asbestos present in the CUB is sheet and there is no airborne dust within the interior of the building.

He said: "The first thing we would do in getting the building would be to employ a proper contractor to remove all the asbestos from that building.

"At the moment, the rooms where it is deemed to be a problem are sealed."

Cllr Zarczynski suggested Cllr Taylor, who said he has worked with Cancer Research UK for more than 30 years, liaise with Honiton Community Spaces and advise on the asbestos issue.

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