Cornish community opens new village hub after receiving loans from Co-operative & Community Finance and The Co-operative Loan Fund.
A group of locals from the Rame Peninsula in South East Cornwall came together to found The Peninsula Trust on 19 March 2014, with the aim of supporting their community. Exactly one year later, they are celebrating the opening of their new community hub – The Rame Centre – in Millbrook Village.
The trust currently has 350 members – 10% of the area’s population. In September 2014, they launched a community share issue which raised £24,400. This money, combined with loans from Co-operative & Community Finance and The Co-operative Loan Fund, was used to buy the large semi-derelict building in Millbrook Village. This new hub marks the beginning of their ambitious plan for community development and engagement.
After some renovation and redecoration, the building opened as The Rame Centre on 19 March 2015. Val Gregory, one of the trust’s first community investors, was there to cut the ribbon, along with Co-operative & Community Finance’s Ian Taylor.
Simon Ryan, founder of The Peninsula Trust, said:
This project has been so fast paced and people are really excited about it – we’ve got volunteers and supporters pouring into the building already, which is absolutely unreal. The loans we received from The Co-operative Loan Fund and Co-operative & Community Finance have helped us to create a fully sustainable community hub which will last long term.
The Rame Centre will be home to a variety of community services, including the local credit union, council-led IT courses, citizens’ advice, a retail space and the local food bank. The yard at the rear of the property will house a new Peninsula Trust initiative dubbed ‘Made in Rame’; a collection of work units which will be rented to small, local craft businesses. Extra income will be generated through the rental of two flats in the upper floor of the building.
Co-operative & Community Finance loan adviser, Ian Taylor, said: “We’re delighted to support this innovative and highly energetic community resource. Millbrook Village and the surrounding areas will benefit greatly from the opening of the new centre, as well as the trust’s future projects.”
This is the third project that Co-operative & Community Finance has lent to in this small enterprising community in recent years. In 2012 a disused bank building was bought and refurbished for a local development trust, and in 2013 a new pontoon was installed for the fishermen’s organisation.
For more information: www.thepeninsulatrust.org.uk