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Upheaval as Bodmin's The Ark community project is forced to relocate

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: March 08, 2014

MOVING ON: Director Colin Martin believes The Ark is in for a bright future despite having to move premises because of a rent rise.

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A BODMIN community project has been forced to relocate after a rise in its payments for a rented building on Fore Street.

The Ark, a community resource based on Fore Street, has now taken over a unit inside the Market Arcade – but the move has caused major upheaval.

The project was first formed five years ago and has been based in the Fore Street building for two years, but left in early February after a dispute with its new landlord.

The Cornish Guardian understands The Ark's directors were paying £500 a month to lease the property from the previous owners, but its new buyer has quoted more than £1,000.

The Ark's vision was to create a "community hub" which is open to people of all ages and backgrounds.

While located at Fore Street it housed a café, a softplay area, was home to NCB community radio station and provided a hub for various activities in the centre of Bodmin.

The move has meant The Ark can no longer offer a café or recording studio and it has also parted ways with NCB Radio.

"The previous landlord gave us a favourable rate with rent, but sadly we have not been able to reach an agreement with the new owner, who has quoted us double the normal amount," director Colin Martin said.

"We are now regrouping with a new focus and, despite the setback, we are in a stronger position than before, as we have secured core funding for the next three years, enabling us to employ a full-time manager.

"From our new premises we aim to build things back up again and, on the very day we left 85 Fore Street, we launched a new project – we are hosting a team of community organisers, run by five great local people: Pete, Richard, Emma, Emma and Lin, funded and supported by Locality."

"We look forward to building a better Bodmin with the public and we are appealing for anybody who wishes to join the board of directors or the steering group."

NCB Radio, meanwhile, will return to air soon following a short period of inactivity.

"NCB Radio would like to reassure its many listeners that it will return to the air shortly," company secretary Jenny Hill said.

"Unfortunately, with very little notice indeed, NCB Radio found itself without a studio after The Ark had to leave the premises. Thankfully, we have managed to secure alternative premises in the town and hope to be moving in shortly.

"We are planning a special event to mark the opening of our new studio.

"Full details will be available online at www.ncbradio.co.uk"

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