Ceiling help plea

Gully House members(left to right) Jean King. Lena Devine and Marion Corps opposite the damaged ceiling in the Wingate building.
Gully House members(left to right) Jean King. Lena Devine and Marion Corps opposite the damaged ceiling in the Wingate building.

A DESPERATE appeal has gone out for help to fix a community centre ceiling.

It is feared that if funds aren’t raised for the repairs to the collapsed ceiling on the extension of Gully House, in Gully Road, Wingate, the facility may have to close.

Members of Gully House Residents’ Association took over the running of the building three years ago from Durham County Council as part of the authority’s review into community buildings.

But members say they were advised by an independent surveyor that they only needed to take out contents insurance, when that is not the case.

Association secretary Lena Devine said: “We took over the centre and it was all going quite good, we raised the money to pay our bills.

“But just recently we had a catastrophe when the ceiling on our extension fell in.”

Mrs Devine said when she approached the council, which still owns the 29-year-old building, she was told the venue wasn’t covered for the collapse, which was caused by water.

The association needs at least £4,000 to fix the ceiling, and they have already raised £2,000 through obtaining a £1,000 grant from the Rothley Trust and £1,000 as a result of jumble sales.

A builder has already been to patch up the ceiling, but more funds are needed for long-term repairs.

She said people can still use the centre, which provides a host of activities including line dancing, coffee mornings, computer workshops and functions.

But Mrs Devine added: “If we can’t raise the extra money and get it fixed, it will have to close down. We will have to hand it back to the council.”

Gordon Elliott, the county council’s head of partnerships and community engagement, said: “Gully House was transferred to the local residents’ association in 2010, and the East Durham Area Action Partnership is working very closely with them to seek the funding they need to deal with the difficulties they face.”

To help call Mrs Devine on 07596 616515.