The final countdown is on in Budleigh Salterton to raise £23,000 before the end of August to buy the town’s former fire station at auction.
A crowdfunding campaign to raise £50,000 by August 31 still has just under half way to go if the Budleigh Community Workshop Trust (BCWT) has a fighting chance of successfully bidding to buy the building at auction on September 10.
The BCWT, which hopes to secure at least £200,000 to be successful at auction, has raised £150,000 in donations and pledges, but needs to raise the additional £50,000 through crowdfunding to be in strong position to bid.
Budleigh Salterton Town Council has pledged £25,000 to help refurbish the former fire station into an open-to-all community workshop if the trustees secure the sale.
With just a few days remaining to find the extra £23,255, East Devon MP Simon Jupp was invited by Budleigh Community Workshop trustees to see the proposed plans.
Bill McDermott, Budleigh Community Workshop Trust chairman, said: “We have set up the crowdfunding site to endeavour to raise £50,000 by the end of August to enable us to be in a strong position to be able to buy the building and refurbish it.
“It’ a project about the community, for the community, by the community.”
Mr Jupp said: “I’m proud to support this project which is clearly backed by many people in Budleigh.
“It would be a big boost for the town and help bring people together to improve their skills and confidence.
“This is a brilliant opportunity and I hope the project is successful.”
The town’s fire station was closed earlier in 2020 by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, as part of its cost-cutting Safer Together consultation.
The fire service instructed the sale of the building through an online auction, being held on September 10.
Budleigh Community Workshop Trust wants to buy the building and create a workshop and other recreational opportunities for the community to enhance skills, confidence and inclusion, such as carpentry, wood turning, DIY, textile crafts and repair skills.
The registered charity is working with the Budleigh Health and Wellbeing Hub and the local GP practice, with the shared aim of improving the vitality, health and wellbeing of the local community, through practical skills, creativity, learning and support.
The community workshop would be an addition to the Budleigh Hub, in bringing people together, and will be run on similar lines to the Men’s Shed, and a repair shop, with experienced leaders and volunteers.