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A fundraising campaign is being launched to keep Wantage’s already popular community space, The Mix, on Mill Street. The group Sustainable Wantage, which runs The Mix, is using the crowdfunding platform, crowdfunder.co.uk, to give local people and businesses the opportunity to play their part in taking the initiative to its next stage. You can pledge support via www.crowdfunder.co.uk/Keeping-The-Mix-in-Mill-Street

The new community space for Wantage (see http://thewantagemix.wordpress.com/) was opened following the refurbishment of an empty shop on Mill Street, and is available for local groups and organisations to hire, and host a range of skill share workshops, fund-raising activities and resource-saving initiatives. Already more than 20 different groups and organisations have used the space for activities as wide-ranging as a charities blitz, prayer and reflections time, Girl Guide volunteer recruitment, scrap art, resource swapping and promotion of the local reptile rescue and care centre.

The-Mix-Day-March-2014

The crowd funding campaign aims to raise £3,200, which will help secure The Mix at 15 Mill Street into 2014, and give the team running it more time to add to the calendar of uses and build its financial sustainability. Part of the campaign is a video featuring members of the local community who have benefited from using The Mix.

Mim Norvell, who is leading the project, says: “Thanks to very generous support from local volunteers and tradesmen, and funding from the High Street Innovation Fund, we have already been able to use 15 Mill Street as a space for a range of brilliant community activities. It’s a central place that brings people together for enjoyment and learning, while adding to the diversity of our town centre, and bringing an unused shop back into use. We’d love to keep The Mix as somewhere for everyone to enjoy, building on what has unfolded so far and exploring some new ideas.”

Sustainable Wantage member, Jo Harvey, says: “As a Society for the Benefit of the Community, Sustainable Wantage doesn’t yet have an income that can cover all the costs. So we are launching a community fundraiser initiative to draw on the support of local people who would like to see us continue this project, raising enough funds to help us stay for at least another six months. This will also allow us time to look at future possibilities for generating enough income for The Mix to be self-sustaining.”

The initiative is the latest being developed by Wantage’s town team as part of a project being driven by a partnership involving Wantage Town Council, the Vale of White District Council and Wantage & District Chamber of Commerce. Cllr Elaine Ware, Cabinet Member for Economy, Leisure and Property at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “The Mix is a great community project which has already proven to be a valuable asset for the people of Wantage. I would urge anyone who is able to support this venture to visit the Crowdfunder website.”

Wantage’s town team reached agreement with the landlords of Units 13 and 15 Mill Street on a 6-month lease for Sustainable Wantage. Number 13 is being used for displaying local information while a long-term tenant is identified. Anyone with ideas or queries can email Mim Norvell via mims@talktalk.net.

The Mix project is contributing to the revival of Mill Street – adding to the momentum created by earlier openings including Bake’n’Shake, Lil Hellers, ShabbyJam, the Flashop pop up shop (now Occasions and Soaps n Soaks), and its stage 2 pop up neighbour Cotswold Kids and Valentina’s Shoe Box. It also acts on a recommendation from the Wantage public meeting to pilot a community shop.