Church looks for a backer to build community centre

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Another attempt is being made by the Church on the Rock in Ramsey to find a new financial sponsor to help to pay for a multi-purpose community centre on part of the former Albert Road School site.

Backing had been obtained and the project – which included the building of a 400-seat auditorium – was set to go ahead.

But it was revealed about six months ago that the existing source of funding had been lost.

When this news was received efforts were made to find the money by alternative means for the Gateway Centre initiative but without success.

However, Church on the Rock Pastor Des Deehan said the scheme was too important for the people of Ramsey to give up without a fight.

He said: ‘After overcoming all the necessary hurdles and receiving full planning permission we then lost our funding source.

‘In these circumstances - with so much preliminary work already having been done - we feel it would be wrong to wave goodbye to such a major development for the north of the island so have decided to try again to find a financial supporter.

‘My information is that the Albert Road site has no other interested parties at the moment and the government is currently building a car park and access road. With this in mind we are determined to try again.’

The church had been negotiating with the government to buy part of the site with the intention of building the auditorium which could have staged concerts, wedding receptions and other functions.

In addition, there were plans for smaller halls and rooms for hire as well as a venue for youth and children’s work.

It was also envisaged there would be space for a cafe as well as modern office suites for local businesses.

Pastor Deehan added: ‘We have come so far with our vision that it would be heartbreaking if we could not bring the project to fruition. That is why we are trying again and I would be delighted to sit down and talk it through with anyone interested in helping us regenerate the town centre of Ramsey.’

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