11:15AM, Friday 19 April 2013
A community group has started fundraising for ambitious plans to build a new cultural centre in Maidenhead under the asset of community value scheme.
After two weeks of campaigning, members of the Hindu Society of Maidenhead (HSM) have already pledged more than £32,000 to help fund an ambitious project to buy the site of the former Agnes Hayward Nursery in Lincoln Road and turn it into a cultural community centre for about 150 members.
The group wants to find £110,000 to put together a bid to buy the land after it successfully applied for the council-owned site to be listed by the Royal Borough under the new 'right to bid' scheme.
Under the legislation, community groups can express an interest in areas designated assets of community value, giving them six months to prepare a bid for the piece of land if it is put up for sale, during which time it cannot be sold to anyone else.
Finding the cash to buy the site, which has yet to be formally put up for sale, would mark the first stage of a project to gain permission to build the community centre, where members will be able to pray and enjoy festivals and activities.
HSM president Chander-Mohan Malhotra said the group is in the process of coming up with ideas for activites and functions to help raise the money, with several events planned for the coming months.
The total cost of the project is estimated to be £350,000.