Senior Citizens' Club moves into new centre

Grantham Senior Citizens' Club (GSCC) formally took possession of its brand new drop in centre on Welham Street on Monday.

Cllr Jacky Smith officially hands over the new centre to club chairman Sandra Bird

Its previous club building on St Catherine's Road was demolished last year to make way for Grantham's new multi-screen cinema. Members have since been meeting in the Jubilee Church Life Centre.

On Monday Cllr Jacky Smith, SKDC Cabinet member with responsibility for major development projects, officially handed over the centre - Welham Hall - to GSCC directors and members.

Cllr Smith was shown round the new facilities, built by Lindum Construction, which provide a large main hall and stage area, an additional meeting room, disabled friendly toilets, a coffee bar and kitchen.

It means that the club can now resume all its previous activities.

Cllr Jacky Smith confirmed how important it was to provide the club with new premises to unlock the existing site for the council's new multi-plex cinema and restaurant complex, saying:

"We are extremely grateful to the Grantham Senior Citizens Club for their patience and tolerance while we built these superb new facilities.

"Moving the centre has helped stimulate a lot of additional development and the new cinema will deliver huge benefits for the town centre and the local economy. 

"It shows our commitment to improving the quality and range of leisure facilities in Grantham. I am just pleased that we could find a new site for the club so that members will also have the added bonus of great entertainment facilities on their doorstep.

"We hope that you enjoy this building for many years to come."

All organisations linked to GSCC are being told that the centre is available for hire, and there are already bookings coming in.

Extensive kitchen facilities will be used by Training Employment Support Solutions staff to run cookery classes helping the disabled to find jobs and, in the future, to host lunch clubs.

A previous whist club is to be re-started, along with bridge tuition and there are plans for a Scrabble club. A plea is also going out for bric a brac items which members sell at events to raise money. 

Crafts will also be on the agenda, and the blanket making which sees supplies sent to Africa, said Ted Foxall, club business adviser and development manager, who said: "It's great to be in a new building with so much extra room, which we can use for all sorts of new activities."

GSCC treasurer Michael Bird was looking forward to welcoming new members and seeing the centre used by other organisations, saying: "It's a great building. We think it's going to be very popular in attracting new members."

Grants in excess of £55,000 from Lincolnshire's Community Assets and Services, the Big Lottery Awards for All, the Evan Cornish Trust, SKDC's Community Fund and the Dulverton Trust have funded a management plan, kitchen fit out, a stage and entertainment area and chairs and tables.