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Community project hits £10,000 crowdfunding target

A crowdfunding campaign to support the Newton’s Place community space and museum project has hit its £10,000 target.

The good news came on Thursday March 22, a week before the deadline was due. Had the full amount not been pledged none of the cash would have been released to the team seeking to convert the former St Leonard’s Church, Wolborough Street.

It was a generous donation of £1,750 from the Newton Abbot Community Trust that took the fund-raising effort past the finishing line and will help cover design costs. The trust was originally formed to purchase and revive Golden Lion Square in nearby Bank Street but has now set its sights on promoting Newton’s Place.

Chairman Jeremy Newcombe said: ‘The trust receives donations from many people, all of whom have the town’s interests at heart. We watched the Newton’s Place crowdfunding initiative with interest and were heartened to see the figure edging up following last autumn’s launch, thanks of course to the many individual and corporate backers who offered to help.

With a week to go before the deadline we decided to pledge enough to meet the target and cover the admin costs meaning a net £10,000 will now be available to the project. This is another significant step in the scheme’s progress and reminds us all just how keen we are to see Newton’s Place up and running as soon as possible. Newton Abbot is a great town and deserves facilities like this. We’ve also helped preserve a landmark building and given it a fresh purpose for the 21st century.’

The total cost of renovating and converting the former church is approximately £2 million.

With £150,000 already received from the Heritage Lottery Fund the Newton’s Place team is now waiting to hear if a second bid for £800,000 will be successful.

‘We’ve good reason to be hopeful as we worked very closely with the HLF prior to submission,’ said project champion Cllr Mike Ryan. ‘When Newton Abbot Town Council made Newton’s Place its number one priority we did so knowing it would take time and a great deal of effort. We’ve not lost sight of our aim, nor do we underestimate how much more there is still to do. But do we remain committed? The answer that is 100 per cent yes, we promised and we’ll deliver.’

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