Cambridgeshire

Cambridge residents' share scheme raises £600,000 for chapel purchase

Campaigners Image copyright Petersfield Area Community Trust
Image caption Campaigners sold shares to residents and businesses in a bid to save the chapel for the community

A former Methodist chapel looks set to be turned into a community centre after residents raised £600,000 to buy it.

Members of the Save Our Space group set up a scheme selling £250 shares in a bid to purchase the property in Sturton Street in Cambridge.

The group was given a six-month "community asset moratorium" to raise funds before the Methodist Church put the property on the market on 1 March.

The bid has yet to be formally accepted.

Campaign leader John Franks, said: "We have been overwhelmed by the public response.

"Local people are strongly behind us. They would love the hall to be saved so it can be run by and for the community."

If the bid is accepted, it is hoped the chapel and hall can be converted to provide a nursery, a space for older people to meet and a venue for a number of local clubs.

Mr Franks said residents could still pledge to buy shares and all shareholders would receive interest on their investment.

He also encouraged further support from local businesses.

Cambridge City Council has pledged more than £48,000 of Section 106 funding (contributions from developers intended to be used for social and community projects) towards improving the building once the site has been successfully acquired.

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