Government dish out £340,000 grant to turn Great Dunmow building into “well-being hub” for Uttlesford
- Credit: Archant
Hundreds of thousands of pounds has been earmarked to create a pioneering community “well-being hub” for Uttlesford.
Mental health charity West Essex Mind has been given a £338,872 Government grant to put towards the purchase and refurbishment of the Old Police Station in Great Dunmow.
The building houses a number of other local charities that provide services throughout the district.
Alison Wilson, chief executive of West Essex Mind, said: “The plan is that we will be able to gradually add to what is on offer and develop a well-being hub that will be a centre of excellence of services to Uttlesford residents.
“We are really excited about the opportunities that receiving this grant will open up to us all – the most obvious being that we no longer need to worry about where we would go if the building is sold.”
The grant is part of a £5.5million boost announced by the Department for Communities & Local Government to transform 17 community buildings nationwide.
Locally, the money will be used to repair the roof, replace the boiler and make improvements to the disabled access.
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While the day-to-day running of the centre, which also houses the Council for Voluntary Services Uttelsford (CVSU), will not change, the services on offer will be “enhanced”, said Ms Wilson.
For example, a key feature will be expanding the reception area to include space for a café in the reception area, making it a “go-to” place for the community. Information and advice will be available.
Kirsty Monk, business manager of the CVS, said: “We have really made a welcoming environment and we want that to keep growing in the future.
“We are very grateful we have had this opportunity. It has been a long journey but with a big miracle at the end.”
Built in 1842, the red-brick former police station once housed a magistrates’ court and chambers on its first floor, as well as space for a fire engine.
Its historic features include fireplaces, vents and grates.
Great Dunmow town mayor Phil Milne said it was “fantastic” the old building put to good use.
He added: “I could not think of a better purpose for the building. It is nice that Dunmow will be home to a main resource for the district.”
Refurbishment work is expected to be complete in June.
• Residents are being invited to join a steering group to get involved with the future of the hub. Anyone interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07854 793 914.