Andy Brooks lives in Macclesfield with four children aged 7-17. As he tried to have family days out he became acutely aware of the lack of good quality healthy enjoyable family provision in the Macclesfield area, apart from the usual council run 1970's swimming baths. After visiting a family centre with his family on holiday in 2012 he knew that a climbing based sports centre with integral community facilities such as a cafe and community room for groups to use was what his community needed...
Andy recruited three other people to help him achieve his vision; Ian, Karen & Mick, an Architect, an Accountant and a recently retired Community Police Sergeant. Together they formed a Community Interest Company (limit by shares) 'Time to Care UK Ltd' to raise the £410,000 needed. The CIC is legally obliged to reinvest it's profits back into the business and local community as it cannot pay large dividends to it's directors as a private venture would.
In order to achieve their goal and create the centre a suitable building needed to be found which was an empty industrial unit just 250 metres from Andy's home. Planning permission was obtained on July 23rd this year. The activity centre will house a community room (free of charge) and a cafe charging less than £1 for a hot drink during the daytime to encourage retired residents to attend and take part in bingo sessions or armchair aerobics. The centre will also have a soft play facility for pre school ages so young mums and carers can meet regularly and enjoy social interaction, again at a reduced cost from traditional soft play centres. During peak hours we will see the use of our climbing and bouldering equipment, introducing young people into a fun and healthy sport where confidence and self esteem can be built.
We have had pledges of £70,000 worth of funding in the form of building materials and work time from local businesses from a total start up cost of £410,000. We are in negotiation will several parties to raise a further £250,000 and a funding bid for £50,000 is currently being assessed. The short fall of £40,000 is the reason we are crowdfunding, we hope that by just raising £5000 it will take us that much nearer to providing what will be a real community asset to our town.
We are supported in our venture by local MP David Rutley, Leader of Cheshire East Council Michael Jones and all local ward councillors. We are also linked in with the towns youth club iMacc which is a partner in a community effort to improve the facilities for young people in the town.
Any contribution of £5 will be rewarded with a free session at our centre in the first month of opening for either the soft play or bouldering.