Posted on Friday 10th November 2023
A veterans charity based in Newcastle has taken ownership of the building they operate from, on Hassell Street in the town.
Staffordshire county council, who owned the building, have been working together with Tri Services Veterans Centre over the last 18 months to find a solution that would allow the charity to buy the building, which has been their base for seven years.
Thanks to an impressive fundraising effort, the charity has raised the necessary funds to buy the building and have now taken formal ownership this week. The agreement to sell the building to the charity was made at a meeting of the council’s sub-committee in May 2023.
Mark Deaville, Cabinet Member for Commercial at Staffordshire County Council, who helped facilitate the sale said:
“This is something I have taken a personal interest in and I’m delighted that we have all been able to reach a really good solution”
“It’s great to be handing over ownership of the building to Tri Services and brilliant that we have such a positive outcome for both parties.
“Thanks to the group and a huge fundraising effort, it has meant the charity have been able to raise the £85,000 to purchase the building, which has been their base for many years. Having met with the group on a number of occasions, I recognise the important work the charity does in the local area. Owning the building instead of leasing it will now allow them to invest in the centre and give them more certainty about their future.
“This was also a good outcome for the council, making sure an important service for the community has a more secure future, whilst balancing the county council’s duty to use its assets and resources wisely for all Staffordshire residents.”
The group support serving and former serving members of the armed forces and their families across North Staffordshire.
Chairman, Geoff Harriman said:
“By taking ownership of the building that we have occupied for 8 years is a monumental step forward for the charity. This will give us the security we need to continue the great work in providing help and support to veterans and their families.
“We would like to take this opportunity in thanking Staffordshire County Council for working with us in reaching a mutual agreement for the benefit of all concerned.
“The fund-raising effort our valuable volunteers have done is nothing short of a miracle in raising the required money to buy the building in a very short time. To think that back in February we were quite worried, knowing that we had to raise £11.5k per month to keep on target, that was quite a daunting thought.
“The support we have had from the veteran’s community, veteran’s organisations and the general public has been absolutely staggering. This, coupled with the outstanding contribution from John Caudwell to match fund all we raise, will enable us to refurbish and redecorate the centre.
“We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to all those individuals/associations/organisations and local businesses in helping us to secure the building.”