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CHURCH TO GET pounds 300k FUNDING By Jasbir Authi.

Byline: Jasbir Authi

AN OLD Birmingham church will be making a difference in the community after being awarded a large grant.

St Margaret's Church, in Ward End, is to receive pounds 300,000 to build a new hub and get a raft of projects up and running.

The church will have a multi-functional community centre where activities, meetings, training sessions and events for people of all ages and backgrounds living nearby will take place. The money will also be used to create new offices and meeting rooms at the church on St Margaret's Road.

The donation was made by the Veolia Environmental Trust, which has been supporting community and environmental projects across the UK, as part of their Veolia Cre8 Funding Challenge.

The Rev Simon Cartwright, who is assistant minister at St Margaret's church, said they were overjoyed when they learned they had been awarded the grant after months of applications and making presentations.

"It is great that we are able to breathe new life into this old church building to meet the needs of all members of our community," he said. "We want a church without walls, we want to meet people in their daily lives. We will make a confidential advice unit and on the upstairs level there will be a hot desk people can use. Businesses can also base themselves there.

"Hodge Hill has one of the highest levels of unemployment in the city, so this is very important. We want an active venue where people can participate."

Building work is excepted to begin this autumn. The trust's executive director, Margaret Cobbold, said: "The response to the application process was amazing, with us receiving over 1,000 initial enquiries, 250 completed expressions of interest, and 32 invited full applications.

"This scheme is one of the four that have won. We look forward to working with the team at St Margaret's so that their project realises its full potential and makes a real difference to people's lives and the community."

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Historic: St Margaret's Church in Ward End, one of the city's oldest places of worship.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Aug 9, 2011
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