Community hub makes plea for help as running costs soar to £2,500 a month

Staff have urged locals to 'use it or lose it' and consider volunteering as the facility grapples with rising energy bills.

An Angus community hub is pleading with locals to use the facility or risk losing it.

The Board of Trustees at Friockheim Community Hub say the five-year-old centre is experiencing increased financial pressures, with rising running costs.

The centre boasts a cafe, gym, meeting room space and sensory room.

This school holiday period, it’s been home to an Easter breakfast club for children and families, funded through a grant from Angus Council.

But running costs are soaring with energy bills surging from £900 pounds a month, to over £2,500.

Manager Charlotte Tulett told STV News: “Our overheads are quite high and because the building is such a large scale of what it is, our utility costs have just risen.

“Since Covid, we’ve never really had our main level of where we can just try and provide that profit to give back to the community.

“We’ve been trying to apply for grant applications and because the grant applications are drying up, there’s not as much core funding that we’d be able to apply for.”

With the purse strings at breaking point, it’s led to the Board of Trustees issuing an urgent appeal to the community.

Chair of the board, Barbara Cowan, said: “As funding’s reduced, our costs have gone up, so we’ve been hit with a bit of a double whammy, so we have seen for a few months that this is likely to come unfortunately.

“If we can get more people in, if we can get more use of the hub then we might be able to move forward from this.

“We’d particularly like to see the community come forward and volunteer.

“Volunteers would make a huge difference to us because we could use volunteers to free up our staff to do other things.”

In a bid to reduce costs, the hub has invested significantly in trying to reduce its energy consumption.

Barbara added: “Our boiler facility, we’ve had changes made to that to make it more efficient.

“Solar panels, they will hopefully save us quite a bit of money but that’s a longer-term prospect, we must wait now for that investment to come back.

“But it meets a lot of our charitable obligations as well. We’re trying to make the hub a greener, cleaner space.”

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