Work starts on new £600,000 Ravenshead church centre

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Work has started on a new village church building costing almost £600,000.

The sparkling new St Peter’s Centre is set to become a reality with construction workers moving on to the site following a huge fundraising effort in Ravenshead.

The old centre, which was built in the 1940s, is next to the church and is to be demolished with a new state-of-the-art building to be constructed in its place.

This is despite the fact that the church is still around £60,000 short of its build target of £587,954.

Project manager Paul Craddock said: “We are confident we can reach our target in time and therefore provide proper facilities for all the organisations in the village who wish to make use of them.

“The centre will also be available to businesses and clubs based outside Ravenshead.”

Following a tender process with four contractors, the work being carried out by Carmalor Construction Ltd.

They moved on to the site at the start of the month.

Over the last year or so, around half-a-million pounds has been raised through generous donations, including a £20,000 pledge from wealthy local businessman and project supporter, Gary Dutton MBE.

The rest of the money has arrived through grants and money-raising events, while the project steering committee is still waiting for decisions to be made on other grant applications to allow the project to reach the total required.

These decisions are expected within a few weeks.

Meanwhile money-raising events, including an autumn ball at Portland College are being planned, in association with prayer days and a giving weekend in late September.

A ground-breaking ceremony is planned for 27th September, and it is hoped the building shell completed by Christmas and ready for bookings by Easter 2015.