Council agree to support Swaffham Men's Shed as they search for new premises
A town council has pledged its support for a community group which is looking for new premises for its activities.
Swaffham Men's Shed has been seeking a place to call home in the market town for a workshop and social area, but they have continued to serve the community during the pandemic .
During a meeting on Wednesday evening, Swaffham Town Council unanimously agreed to assist the group with an additional expense of up to £1,500.
The council will be assisting Men's Shed as a location near to the public toilets was discussed by councillors during the full council meeting.
Councillor Judy Anscombe said she would like to see the group up and running in new premises, and asked the meeting who would be paying for the electricity, water and overheads for the space.
Town clerk Richard Bishop said Men's Shed would be directed to organisations such as Swaffham Lions, the Rotary Club and the Masonic Lodge who hand out start-up grants.
Mr Bishop added there may be scope for the Men's Shed members to utilise their own skills and do some of the work for the council when moving into new premises.
The main interests of the group have been towards a woodworking environment although they hope to expand on this over time and include other hobbies.
Mr Bishop said: "Lottery awards would set them up and guide them through the early stages. It does look a very worthy organisation to have in the town."
The clerk said funds allocated in the Section 106 agreement were for refurbishing the public toilets so any expense to support Men's Shed would have to come out of council reserves.
Councillor Les Scott's proposal to go ahead and support the group with an additional expense of up to £1,500 was seconded by Paul Darby then voted through by the council.
Swaffham Men’s Shed is open to anyone over the age of 18 and those interested in joining can contact them by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Swaffham Men’s Shed Facebook page or website at www.swaffhammensshed.co.uk/.
The Men's Shed role is described as: "To provide an environment where people can come and socialise and learn new skills whilst completing projects to benefit the local community, personal projects can also be completed using the facilities."
It has applied for a stall at the Swaffham Christmas Market on Sunday, December 6 from 10am to 4pm to raise funds by selling handmade items such as wooden Christmas trees and bug hotels.