ONE last hurdle must be overcome before a community project can breathe life into a town’s derelict club.
The Breakers Community Project aims to re-open the former bowling alley in Bridge Street, which was last named Stryx and closed down more than five years ago.
Mum-of-two Anji Gillies wants to give young people in the town a place to meet as well as providing a familyfriendly space and somewhere for community groups. She was initially spurred on to start fundraising following a number of suicides of young people in the town.
Since last February, the project has been awarded a £10,000 Lottery grant and a further £10,000 from a private donor, as well as £25,000 raised through fundraising and sponsorship.
It is hoped that the last bit of funding needed for the scheme will be given the go ahead at a meeting at the end of the month. And this will mean that Breakers could open before the summer holidays.
Anji, who has devoted all of her time to the project, said: “Having the Lottery say it’s worthwhile and seeing it as a good enough investment makes it quite a big deal.
“It’s been a full time job for the past year. As with everything, there are people who have been behind us from the start; Jim Neal has helped all the way through.
“It has been really hard work but more than anything I want somewhere for my kids to go.”
If the money is granted, help will be needed to refurbish the club, including from trades people and volunteers.
Anji added: “The general reaction is people are excited to take their families.
There are a lot of people who don’t really go out at the moment as there isn’t anywhere of their liking.
“Breakers was never a nightclub, it was open late and had music. A lot of those people have said they will start coming out more, which will bring more money to the local pubs.
“The general consensus is it will be good to have somewhere warm and dry, somewhere to meet up, somewhere to go on breaks on college that’s close to the college.”
A bungee jump will be held in April and a golf day at Andover Golf Course will take place on 21 February to raise further funds.
To take part in fundraising or to help with the project, visit breakerc o m m u n i t y p r o j e c t a n d o v e r Facebook page, breakers andover.co.uk or call 07599 951321.