Express & Star

Popular centre bags £28,000 grant for air con to handle high temperatures - just in time for summer

A Walsall community centre has been awarded a £28,000 grant to fund heat pumps and air conditioning units after previously having called off events due to high temperatures.


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Pelsall Community and Arts Centre has received the cash through the BIFFA Award, which helps fund community projects.

The team at the Station Road site found out they had won the money at the end of March, and it will be used for the installation of heat pumps and air conditioning units in its hall and lounge area.

The hall at the centre is used to host a range of exercise classes, from Zumba to chair yoga, as well as community theatre shows which are held on a Friday night several times a month.

However, Justin Roberts, centre manager, explained the hall is often either too warm or too cold for visitors, with staff having previously cancelled activities as a result.

The 36-year-old, who has worked at the community centre for two years, said he was "very pleased" to hear the news the site had secured the funding.

He said: "The grant will enable us to increase our energy efficiencies and reduce our energy costs, so we can put more back into activities for the centre.

"It is going to make a massive difference to groups that use the hall because in the summer it is unusable because of the heat and in the winter it is too cold.

"We can open the doors to a wider area of the community because we can use it all year round now."

A popular spot among residents, Justin said the community centre sees around 500 people come through its doors each week, with visitor numbers soaring to 1,000 on show weeks.

The new air conditioning units and heat pumps are set to be installed at the site at the end of May.