Village trust thanks builders who repaired heritage centre for free

Members of a community trust in a Shropshire village have said they were left "gobsmacked" when a local building firm repaired their heritage centre that was at risk of flooding free of charge.

 The heritage centre in Ditton Priors (L-R: Rona Cobb,  John Coles, Graham Till with Paul Brennan and Matthew Evans from JPA)
The heritage centre in Ditton Priors (L-R: Rona Cobb, John Coles, Graham Till with Paul Brennan and Matthew Evans from JPA)

The Ditton Priors Community Land Trust (DPCLT) manages around 30 acres of land in Ditton Priors, near to Bridgnorth, that includes a day care centre, a community cafe and a volunteer led-heritage centre.

The trust say that recent heavy rainfall and poor quality drainage in the heritage centre had threatened the building with flooding.

The centre is used by a number of local historians and contains a range of artefacts, documents and photographs that would have been at risk had water had got into the building.

John Coles, member of the DPCLT said: "We are trying to make the land we manage a focal point for the village and the heritage centre is a big part of that.

"The centre is a former barn and sits next a large field which slopes down. Over time we have began seeing the water seeping into the heritage centre, which was getting damp, and we were worried about the collection of documents and photos."

The not-for-profit trust looked at getting the building repaired but were facing a bill of more than £1,000.

However, local firm, JPA Services, Landscaping, Building, Fencing & Groundworks, based just outside the village, came to offer a quote on the work but decided to offer their services free of charge.

"Paul Brennan from JPA came to see what needed doing and after speaking to the others at the firm, he came back and said that they would no it for nothing. I was gobsmacked. It was such a community minded thing to do," said Mr Coles.

The firm completed the work over two days this week and installed a permanent drainage system, which has solved the issue.

Paul Brennan, who runs JPA Services, said he conducted the work free of charge because the firm wanted to "give something back to the village."

He added: "We are based just a few minutes outside Ditton Priors so feel very much a part of the village.

"We have done work there in the past such as repairing the church's gatepost, which we didn't charge for, so we always try to do what we can for Ditton Priors."

Mr Coles added: "I really want to thank Paul and everybody at JPA for what they have done. It is a valuable gift to a much-valued local amenity."

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