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Legacy could see new facilities built at Ipstones Memorial Hall

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: June 08, 2014

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A LEGACY worth more than £400,000 could be used to build new facilities at a village hall – including a new kitchen, bar and extra car parking.

Residents of Ipstones and district have been left a bequest in the joint names of the two donors, John and Joan Blore, formerly of Bottomhouse.

The cash was left for the establishment of a doctors' surgery.

However, fears have raised that the surgery, which could cost up to £250,000, would stand empty for more than 90 per cent of the time, but would still require maintenance.

This was because doctors from Well Street Clinic in Cheadle have visited the hall for a one hour surgery on Tuesdays and Fridays – and have no plans to increase the hours.

Ipstones Memorial Hall management committee, at a meeting with parish councillors, agreed to look at widening out the use of the money.

Chairman of the hall committee Chris Ramsay said: "The money is in the bank and we have held meetings with the doctors.

"We have also written to all other doctors in the area. However, some say it is not viable for them. The present doctors state they would carry on the same times.

"The doctors said they were under financial constraints and there was no new money. If they wanted to attend the village surgery more, they would have to steal funding from others as a rural area would not be viable for a purpose built surgery.

"We have now met the executors of the will to look at refurbishing the present Memorial Hall, which would include a new kitchen, bar and extra car parking, along with a dedicated surgery area. The executors said they agreed with our thinking and gave us their blessing.

"A new surgery building could cost around £250,000 and would be empty for 90 per cent of the time. We have now met with a district development officer for a grant to enable us to conduct a village survey as we need to think how to utilise and provide the right facilities."

Treasurer of the hall committee Martin Brightman said that presently stairs had to be climbed to gain access from the kitchen to the main hall.

He said: "A no-stairs kitchen, a new bar area and a dedicated surgery has great benefits for the village. The money is presently invested in five accounts."

The parish council was invited to elect a representative to join the sub-committee from the hall to take the matter forward.

It is then intended to stage a public survey and draw up future plans, which would go on public exhibition.

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