Federal government supporting Amherst senior’s centre expansion

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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Club has 180 members and growing

The Amherst 50+ Club has received a $25,000 grant to complete a 20-by-90 feet expansion.

Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong (right) speaks to Amherst Mayor Robert Small (left) and Amherst 50+ Club president Merrill Murray after announcing a $25,000 iNew Horizons for Seniors Program grant for the club.

AMHERST – A senior’s centre in Amherst is expanding with help from a grant from the federal New Horizons Program.

The Amherst 50+ Club has received a $25,000 grant to complete an expansion of its Croft Street facility.

“We’re looking to add 20 feet onto the end of the building and the addition will run the 90-feet length of the building,” 50+ Club president Merrill Murray said. “We need this expansion because we’re running out of room. We’re pushing 180 members and we’re only allowed 110 in the building, so we need to expand.”

Murray said when the group started planning the expansion last year, they were told it was going to cost about $95,000. With a number of fundraisers, and Wednesday’s grant announcement, the campaign is at about $70,000.

“We still need about $25,000,” Murray said.  “We’re still fundraising and we’re hoping that we can get some help maybe from the town and the province.”

He is hoping the club will be able to break ground in a month or so and have the work completed by fall.

“Seniors are a very important segment of our population. A lot of seniors don’t have family and this is their second home,” Murray said. “We don’t want to turn anyone away.”

He said the expansion will provide more activity space as well as more storage.

The federal funding was announced Wednesday by Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong.

“The government recognizes the valuable contribution seniors have made to our society and the economy,” Armstrong said. “By supporting New Horizons projects, we are acting to ensure that seniors maintain a good quality of life and continue to be active members of their communities.”

Armstrong said seniors played a vital role in building the community and need the support to continue active lifestyles.

Mayor Robert Small welcomed the grant, adding Amherst recently brought forward a senior’s strategy that could be copied by other municipalities in the area.

“Every dollar that’s spent in the community is so important to us. This club has worked hard to host a number of events throughout the year and this should help give it a good shot in the arm,” Small said.

darrell.cole@tc.tc

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Geographic location: Amherst, Croft Street, New Horizons

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