Residents are asked to vote for a proposed church centre and community hall in an awards contest that could contribute up to £25,000 towards the £1.5m project.

Backers behind the new centre in Handbridge have applied to the Aviva Community Fund for its support in replacing the existing St Mary’s Church Hall but they need the public’s help in casting their vote.

The project, which follows an ‘extensive’ public consultation, aims to provide a new much larger facility that will serve the needs of the church and the community at large. It will comprise a large hall, two community rooms, a medical consultation room for the adjacent surgery and a cafe-social area.

In addition, the vision is supported by Cheshire West and Chester Council, The Westminster Foundation and Eaton Hall Estate (Duke of Westminster) and the NHS.

Flagship project

A spokesperson said: “Subject to funding we hope to be able to build this project in 2016. This new facility will provide the community facilities in Handbridge which it currently lacks. This project is a flagship project, demonstrating how the third sector can work with many stakeholders – including council, NHS, other third sector parties and the community, to roll out many initiatives to enhance services and the quality of life to the community south of the river.”

People can vote for the project (Project 1798) in the Aviva Community Awards and those with the most votes will be supported by insurance company Aviva to the tune of up to £25,000.

Everyone gets 10 votes to cast, and can use all of them for the one project if they wish. Anyone over the age of 18, whether an Aviva customer or not, can vote online for the Handbridge project.

The deadline is May 30. If you are part of a family and have multiple family members over 18 and multiple email addresses you can vote several times.

The spokesperson added: “Please get on your internet and support the project and if you can please pass this onto your friends and work colleagues asking for their support too.”

A funding plan is in place and a Pledge Campaign has also been launched. Any money donated can be Gift Aided. For details, email: