As you walk along Histon High Street you may have noticed that the church halls opposite Tesco are looking rather down at heel. If you spend any time inside the halls, as part of one of the many groups meeting there, you will be even more aware of the need to upgrade the halls and make them fit for 21st century life.
For several years now, St Andrew's Church have been considering the various options available to us for updating the halls. About two years ago, we began to plan in earnest and established a team of people to take the project forward.
This has progressed steadily to the point where we have now have over £1,170,000 pledged towards the total cost, of which over £850,000 has been already donated (figures correct as of December 2012). We will eventually need to raise approximately £1.6 million in order to complete the work.
Our goal is to create a new centre—to be named the St Andrew's Centre— that will benefit not only the church but also a wide range of suitable community activities in the villages. We intend to include a café area to be open to all; a modern, comfortable place to meet and spend time together and a facility which the villages currently lack.
Many of the current users of the building are children, and the centre will significantly improve the facilities available to them. It is also intended to be able to provide facilities to other groups, such as the elderly, and services which the church offers such as money management counselling.
We have aimed to produce a design that meets these needs, and will provide flexibility to respond to new demands, whilst retaining the character of the original school halls and blending in with other buildings in that part of the village.
We have submitted a planning application and this was approved 13-1 at the planning meeting on May 11th 2011. This means that we really can go ahead, and now the focus moves to raising the rest of the money and finalising the plans.
We have now finalised the specifications and gone out to tender. The tenders have been checked and we are almost ready to award the contract for the building work. It is hoped that building work will commence in March 2013 with completion within the year.
We hope that you will give us your support and encouragement as we embark on a project that will provide much needed benefits for the village community.
More information can be found on the dedicated website.