A community association is a step closer to buying a church hall where it can hold activities after launching a £52,000 appeal.

Petteril Bank Community Association in Harraby, Carlisle, has been leasing Meade Road Church Hall for the last three years, while it saved up enough money to buy it.

Deborah Earl, who is a trustee of the Petteril Bank Community Association and also a county councillor, said: “The church hall is the ideal space for us to offer activities to the community.

“It has a big hall, two meeting rooms, office space and a kitchen.”

The hall is used by a variety of groups and Deborah said it is a “valued facility”.

She said: “There’s bingo in the hall on a Monday and we had a kids’ disco at Halloween. There’s a youth club there, run by Karen Clarkson, and we are soon going to be starting a Saturday morning film club.

“Our intention is to make sure there is lots for the children to do.”

The hall is also used by a variety of organisations including Age UK. Courses are also held in the hall and there is a regular job club.

It is estimated that 100 people will benefit if the centre is bought by the community association.

The cost of buying building itself is £50,000, and the association needs £2,000 to help fund its legal costs.

Deborah said: “We’ve had a lot of support in terms of grants from different organisations like the Francis C Scott Trust and the Bernard Sunley Foundation.

Deborah Earl “We have raised significant funds through fundraising activities and grant bids towards both the refurbishment and the purchase price.”

Money has also come from Cumbria WMET, the People’s Health Trust, Garfield Weston and the Trusthouse Charitable Trust as well as the Carlisle Local Committee.

A councillor in Upperby is donating £15,000 from his budget and £5,000 is coming from the Local Members Grant Scheme.

The church hall is directly opposite Petteril Bank Community Centre, which also has a hall that is used by Petteril Bank School, but this can only be accessed after 4.30pm.

In a report to councillors, the document says: “The project benefits Cumbria County Council Plan 2016-2019 priorities to ‘enable communities to help shape their local services, promote health and wellbeing and support those in poverty’.

“It also benefits Carlisle Area Plan 2014-2017 priority to develop strong communities supporting local community groups by providing access to targeted local services which meet local needs.”

If successful, the sale could be finalised by July.

The project will go before the meeting of the Carlisle Area Local Committee at the county council headquarters on Botchergate at 10.30am on Tuesday.