Community run Bentham Hub has reached its funding target to secure a new home, thanks to a Yorkshire Dales Millennium trust grant, which completes phase one. A phase two campaign is now launched to make the building fit for purpose.



IN just three months, The Bentham Hub, one of the most successful community charity initiatives in Craven, has raised the £35,000 it needs to buy Bentham’s former Community Centre for the community and make it hte hub's new home.

Situated in the heart of High Bentham, The Bentham Hub is run entirely by volunteers. It sells second-hand goods for the benefit of others and in just over a year it has raised a staggering £43,650 to help fund charities in the area.

In July it announced that, due to circumstances beyond its control it was losing its main premises and had identified Bentham’s iconic community centre, a 19th century Quaker Friends’ Meeting House, as its new home. 

Lesley Barker, co-founder of The Bentham Hub said: “We are delighted to have been awarded a £10,000 grant from Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust which means we now have sufficient funds to buy our new home. What a totally amazing three months we have had. We never anticipated such a huge level of response. We’ve had donations from near and far and it feels like the whole community is behind us. We still have the challenge ahead of making the building fit for purpose, so today we are launching phase two of our fundraising.”

Fellow hub co-founder Mick Reid added: “We’ve had a comprehensive survey of the property done and are currently in the process of seeking quotes for the required work. At that point, we will know how much additional funds we need. We have lots of development ideas for the building, which will form part of our longer-term vision. However, at this stage, we want to get the property into a move-in state. It has been empty for some time and there is some remedial work needed. It’s a dream-come-true to even get to this stage.”

The hub’s campaign has received wide-ranging support. Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith visited the site in August. After his visit he said: “Bentham Hub has achieved a huge amount for the community in a short period of time and has the promise to do so much more. The move to a new home offers them the opportunity to deliver on that potential.”

The hub grant from Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, the first grant in its new YDMT Grants programme to be awarded in High Bentham, ensures that the purchase can go ahead. Mike Appleton, grants officer with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust said: “We’re delighted that we have been able to fund what will be a new home for the highly successful Bentham Hub. Being able to support organisations like the hub to make a real difference in the community is a key part of our new grants programme. We wish everyone the best of luck for this exciting project.”

Public donations have been received from far and wide. Aming the generous donations which have been received have come from Angus Fire, Bentham Older People Together, Wenningdale Escapes, The Sunbeams Project, Harrisons Garage, Bentham Quakers, Thomas Marshall and Family, Grove Hill Garage. Many other businesses and individuals have contributed too.

Among the donations, a host of fundraising initiatives have been organised including a music quiz, a coffee morning and a jumble sale.

Another hub co founder, Sharon Haslam, said: “The new building will transform how we are able to do things, allowing us to benefit the community even more. We want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Yorkshire Dales Millenium Trust for their grant and for helping us get to this stage. We cannot wait to get the keys to the building, that is going to be an absolutely wonderful moment and we are keen to show it to the community before we start the work. We have a lot to do before we can move in, but we are sure that the community will continue to be behind us in our quest to secure funding for the improvements we need to make. “

Anyone wishing to offer support to the hub's fundraising campaign can do so by visiting:

It is currently at almost £2,100 towards a target of £10,000. Donations are also welcome at The hub’s main premises on Bentham High Street which is open 9.30am to 4pm, seven days a week.