The news that our bid for Big Lottery funding to refurbish and redesign the centre had been unsuccessful initially left us stunned and lost for a way forward. Since then huge amounts of energy have been directed towards seeing if funding previously promised by Powys County Council and the Welsh Assembly could still be used for a much slimmed down renovation, still with the aim of creating a community hub capable of housing the library and other services.
A major source of problems has been the deadline for the spending being the end of the financial year. How do you scrap one carefully priced up plan and go back to the drawing board to produce an alternative plan, then price it all up building, technical requirements and all, present it to those holding the purse strings and get the building underway with the remotest chance of completion on time?
So, the fight to stay open and give Knighton's Community Centre a future goes on... As of today, as per our planned timescale, no more major events are booked into the centre, though our regular weekly activities continue until further notice. It's all rather nerve-wracking: we may have the funding approved and we may be able to sort out the huge complications of costing and getting this mammoth project off the ground, all in a couple of weeks. If we do, the building will have to close with little notice! We do have a plan to keep activities going during what could be months of closure - but more of that if and when.
With so much at stake we're determined to fight on a little longer.
Having said all that it is therefore almost straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back time when we find that someone has been up on the centre's roof in recent days and the exhaust flue from the building's central heating boiler has somehow become seriously bent out of shape. Given the Comm's history of suffering vandalism, youths climbing on the roof, breaking tiles etc, this latest damage seems more likely to be vandalism than a case of the flue buckling under the weight of a particularly heavy pigeon.
Most depressing for us and inconvenient for all our users is the fact that we have been advised that the central heating should not be used until the system's exhaust vent has been thoroughly checked - an expense we can ill afford at this time. An extra woolly might be in order if you're attending tomorrow's meeting on the future of the leisure centre. And any information on who might have been on the roof and caused this damage would be much appreciated.