AFTER more than 20 years of fundraising, consulting and planning, Lifton Community Centre has been officially opened with a special event to say thank you to all the people and organisations who have helped the project come to fruition.

More than 200 local people attended, visiting the many stalls organised by activity providers including, karate, yoga, pilates, adult education ( Learn Devon), ballroom dancing, Lifton WI, Lifton Art Group and the Red Spider Amateur Dramatics Company.

The Big Lottery Fund had provided a large grant to enable the building of the centre to go ahead with other grants from West Devon Borough Council (WDBC), Devon County Council, Launceston Rotary Shop and the Freemasons among others. Vin Marshall, secretary of the trustee board who has carried out that role since 1995 was delighted by the attendance but also pleased to receive numerous pledges of support for her 2018 run in the London Marathon.

The Lord Lieutenant of Devon, David Fursdon, unveiled a plaque commemorating the opening of the centre and made a short speech congratulating the whole community for its achievement. He was followed by Cllr Chris Edmonds of WDBC, Lifton Parish Council and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox who all talked about the commitment and tenacity of the trustee board in bringing the project to fruition.

Cllr Kevin Ball from Devon County Council talked about the importance of community and how facilities such as these linked with the work associated in improving infrastructure and rail links in the this part of Devon.

Particular congratulations were offered to Tavistock architect Steve Whettem who has worked with the project for many years. Many positive comments were received about how modern the building was yet how subtly it fitted into the village.

Chairman of the hall committee Tony Phillips then cut the cake which everyone was invited to share.

The community centre has already received a number of bookings with local people being particularly keen on playing social badminton. A website will soon be launched but at he moment Lifton Parish Council’s website is hosting information about the centre.

Mandy Kenyon, a volunteer at Lifton Community Centre, said: ‘We are so pleased that people have been very supportive and are already using the community centre, to learn, keep fit and be sociable. We really hope that it will continue to be used as a centre for doing good.’