CAMPAIGNERS working to raise more than £135,000 to secure the future of a sports and arts hub in Bishops Castle are reviewing a year of progress.

The money is needed to provide a secure future for SpArC (Sports and Arts in the Community).

In addition to fund raising, the Charity continues to lobby Shropshire Council to further develop the Centre, given its tier one status, for a sustainable future.

It supported a successful soft market testing exercise, with the expectation of a full tender programme for SpArC in 2019.

“Looking back, 2018 has been a busy year but also very rewarding,” said Jean Shirley, chair of the trustees.

“We are particularly pleased with the school holiday activities and the opportunities that have been made available for young people to a

The trust says that its achievements in 2018 included:

• The attendance of 58 young people on training courses to gain recognised qualifications, which made possible school holiday activities for both leisure and theatre during the Easter, Summer and Autumn breaks and which were supported by the purchase of specialist sports equipment.

• Raising just under £10,000 through local fund-raising activities in the community, in addition to financial and other support received from town and parish councils.

• The installation of a new pool dehumidifier and refurbishment of the changing rooms made possible by significant funding of £100,000 from Shropshire Council, and hanging of tiles designed and made by the local community.

The next fundraising event in aid of Save the SpArC campaign will be a talk: ‘The Treasure in the Piano’ next week on Tuesday, February 26 to be held at Bishop’s Castle Community College.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to the ‘Don’t let the SpArC go out’ campaign or to find out more about it can do so on line at

Cheques can be sent to Enterprise House, Bishops Castle and should be made payable to ‘Sport & Art in the Community (SPARC) SW Shropshire.