Working with Fareham Borough Council, the County Council agreed for Locks Heath Church to expand their church building with new facilities, to benefit the local community.
Councillor Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “We were happy to help in this situation, working with Fareham Borough Council and Locks Heath Free Church to help them break ground on this worthwhile project to build new community facilities - especially after such a great fundraising effort by the church’s congregation. We wish them well and look forward to seeing the new building when it’s complete.”
The new building will include:
- a larger activity hall to host more community activities
- a coffee shop
- a community-friendly space for concerts, outreach events and services such as debt advice, food bank, addiction recovery and job clubs.
The Borough Council has also supported the church with a matched funding grant of £40,000 to enable them to extend and refurbish the community facilities at their premises.
Councillor Seán Woodward, Leader of Fareham Borough Council, said: “I am delighted that this major community project is moving closer to fruition. This is an example of great partnership working between Fareham Borough Council and Hampshire County Council to achieve a positive outcome for residents, especially those in the congregation led by the Senior Minister Mark Madavan, who have devoted themselves to achieving such a huge mission. Locks Heath Free Church welcomes nearly 800 people through their doors each and every week and with this expansion it will be in a position to play an even greater role in our community.”
Mark Madavan, Senior Minister of Locks Heath Free Church, added: "I am thankful for the support, encouragement and generosity of both Fareham Borough Council and Hampshire County Council regarding our church's building project. I am convinced that this significant community and church facility will enrich and enhance the local community and individual lives. When we work together, partner together, are generous together, we make a greater difference. I wish to personally thank the Leader of Fareham Borough Council, Councillor Seán Woodward, for his help and backing throughout the years, and to thank the Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, for personally intervening to help this project.”
Building work at the church is due to start in spring 2018.