PUBLISHED: 13:13 23 January 2006 | UPDATED: 21:37 28 May 2010
A ROW of ancient cottages converted into a centre for Salvation Army worship is set to be demolished and a brand new one built on the same Whittlesey site. For almost 120 years the Church Street building has served its purpose but thousands of pounds are
A ROW of ancient cottages converted into a centre for Salvation Army worship is set to be demolished and a brand new one built on the same Whittlesey site.For almost 120 years the Church Street building has served its purpose but thousands of pounds are needed for repairs.More than £200,000 has already been raised for the new centre which will cost about £360,000.Major Bram Holland, the Salvation Army officer in Whittlesey for 10 years, says he is very excited about the plans, which are currently before Fenland District council for approval.He said the Salvation Army had looked at various sites in the town but after re-examining the options decided on demolition and replacement on the same site.The existing hall was formed from three 200-year-old cottages, one of which was a cobblers shop.Major Holland said: "Over the years we have spent a lot of money patching it up and we were told we would need to build an iron cage around it which would cost about £60,000. Although it will be the same size site, we can have a purpose built hall with new toilets and kitchen."If given the green light, the site will be vacated by June with work taking about 30 weeks. The new building could be ready for occupation by February 2007.There are plans to expand the popular weekly luncheon club to two sessions, and there is the possibility of some day care provision for the elderly.Fund-raising activities are under way and money for the project has also come from the sale of second-hand furniture in the Salvation Army charity shop and in the form of a legacy.Major Holland said: "We have come an awful long way so far and I am sure we can do it. We don't want to have a mortgage, I would much rather raise the money beforehand and then any income we have can be devoted to other work.