Plans submitted for £5m Bideford Bridge Centre

Preliminary plans for the 'groundbreaking' community centre in Bideford. Preliminary plans for the 'groundbreaking' community centre in Bideford.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013
9:28 AM

Community centre will become a ‘facility for the whole of Torridge’ if plans are approved for land at Moreton Park Road.

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A PLANNING application for a £5million community centre in Bideford has been lodged by the charity Wings South West.

The charity hopes to build the Bridge Centre on land at Moreton Park Road, where Redrow Homes Ltd received planning permission to build 232 new homes in January.

The centre was originally included in the application submitted by Redrow but was removed in September last year after planning officers raised concerns over the viability of the charity’s fundraising plans.

But Wings has continued to be supported by Redrow, who will donate the three-acre site to the Bridge Centre.

Paul Bowser, chief executive officer of Wings, said the charity had worked closely with council officers to submit the new plans.

He said: “Once we have received outline planning permission we will have 18 months to raise £5million to build the centre.

“Phase one will see the community centre, shop and restaurant being built.

“The second phase will be a number of sports facilities, and when we raise the full amount we will build phase three, which is a theatre and church facility.

“This is going to be a facility for the whole of Torridge, and we hope it will even become a disabled sporting facility for the whole South West.”

The centre is expected to create 24 jobs directly, with the possibility of another 14 or 15 jobs created indirectly.

The charity has already gathered international support for the project, including from the designers of the Sydney Opera House and the England and Wales Cricket Board.

“We have had an overwhelming amount of support for the project so far and I hope people will continue to support us,” said Dr Bowser.

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