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News New PR role


MAIDSTONE digital marketing and PR agency, Pillory Barn, have announced the appointment of Sinead Hanna as strategic commu- nications director. The Maidstone Studios-based agency, established in 1993, works with public and private sector or- ganisations throughout the UK. Former journalist Sinead has


over 15 years experience in digital marketing, including time as se- nior communications manager at Dreamland Margate and roles with Visit Kent and Ashford Borough Council. She said: “I’m delighted to join


Pillory Barn. No other agency in Kent knows the B2B and public sector better and I hope I can add to their successes in 2021.”


Food appeal


THE Kings Hill food bank at St. Gabriel’s Church is in need of the following donations: tins of carrots, potatoes, mashed potato, chicken casserole, vegetable casserole and stews, as wells as flour and hand- wash. For details go to www.king- shillchurch.org.uk/food-parcels.


downsmail.co.uk


New building to replace beloved Heather House


A MUCH-loved but rundown community centre in Maidstone is to be replaced. The borough council is propos-


ing to put in a planning application for Heather House, Bicknor Road, Park Wood after a controversial debate at a meeting of the council’s communities, housing and envi- ronment Committee. The main sticking point was the


level of rugby club involvement, which led to Liberal Democrats seeking a deferment. But lead campaigner and ward councillor Cllr Matt Burton (Con), convinced members there was no “takeover” by the club and the em- phasis was on providing a de- prived area with a true community centre. The vote ended 8-0. The centre was closed by the


council in 2017 due to the state of the building. There were plans for refurbishment, but later a new building was preferred.


Campaigners John Barned, Matt Burton, Gary Cooke and Marion Ring The officer report sets out op-


The work would be part-funded (£500,000 or more) from the plan for 11 houses on the site of the Pavilion Building, previously leased to Royal British Legion. The balance is a financial chal-


lenge for the hard-pressed council and now Weavering Warriors Rugby Club, Invicta Panthers and a running club have added over £200,000 to this problem by re- questing additional facilities, in- cluding changing rooms.


tions to the council committee, which agreed to recommend that a planning application be submitted, bringing greater certainty for the community, a management ar- rangement and other potential fi- nancial supporters, including a Government grant and the sports and national bodies. A further report would be needed to approve final scheme costs.


p20 20


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