Rory put his weight behind a bid from Brampton and Beyond Community trust to acquire the Irthing Centre from the County Council. The trust currently leases the site and would like to take ownership to expand its activities. The Trust is a registered company and charity that aims to improve the social, environmental and economic well-being of the community by operating a resource centre offering services such as childcare, a youth club, adult education classes, and local minibus hire. The Trust hopes to expand its membership in order to help increase its activities.
Rory met with parents, children and staff at the children’s centre, and then spent time in the adult sewing club before meeting students in the adult computing class. He discussed with Trustees plans to expand the Trust’s activities, as well as its current drive to increase membership. The Trust hopes in the future to open a community shop, a visitor hostel, a community cafe, and an arts centre, as well as many other initiatives designed to increased community involvement.
Rory said: “Brampton and Beyond is an excellent model of a local community Trust, and one that I would love to see replicated around the constituency. If successful, the Trust has the potential to create a vibrant and inclusive hub in the centre of Brampton, serving a very substantial area of the surrounding district. I was enormously impressed by the activities already going on at the Irthing Centre, and can see from the parents using the children’s centre and the students in the computing class what a huge difference it already makes to local lives. Largely due to the excellent motivation of the Trustees, I have no doubt that the Trust’s plans for the future are most definitely achievable, and I encourage anyone living in the area to consider becoming a member. The more weight the organisation has, the more likely it is to achieve its goals.”
Mike Downham, Chairman of the Trust said: “We were very pleased to welcome Rory Stewart MP to Brampton Community Centre and to meet with the Trustees. The Centre staff were encouraged by Rory’s detailed interest and questions, and the Trustees valued his quick grasp and supportive reactions to our efforts to contribute benefit to the people of Brampton and the surrounding area. Now we are concentrating on our negotiations with the County Council to secure the Irthing Centre site for long-term community benefit, and on getting everyone in the community to consider signing up as a member of the new Trust, and to come to have their say at our first Annual Meeting on 30th June at 7.30 in Brampton Community Centre.”
Picture attached. Caption: Rory and Katie Douglass at the adult sewing class