Action for Knowle Top, a campaign group in Stannington, has raised over £75,000 towards their £150,000 target to save the former Knowle Top Chapel and Schoolroom for the community.
Residents say the chapel has been a striking and much loved landmark in Stannington since 1879. It has been well used by a range of local groups for concerts, rehearsal space, coffee mornings and local drama groups.
The schoolroom is still used for a breakfast and after school club as well as a base for Stannington Brass Band.
Joint chairman of the group, Nicola Parris, said: “We are delighted and grateful for the generosity of local people who have so far made donations or bought community shares.
"However, we cannot rest on our laurels as we need to raise further funds in a very short space of time to enable us to put in a bid for the buildings.
“Time is short - we need everyone to spread the word about our exciting plans, and help us to raise further funds to put in a competitive bid for the buildings.
“Knowle Top has huge potential to become a vibrant community hub and, if successful, we envisage a high-quality community space, with professionally managed meeting spaces and performance facilities hosting a range of events for the benefit of the people of Stannington and the surrounding area.
“Our job is not yet done.”
The ‘community shares’ will be of a fixed value and cannot be traded or transferred. Shares are £1 each with a minimum purchase of 100 shares. Campaigners say they will maintain their value but can also earn interest.
All share monies paid to AKT will be ring-fenced against campaign spending until they are transferred to the Society and it buys the building. In the event of failing to purchase, share monies will be returned to buyers, less any banking fees.
The estate agents want final bids next month.
Campaigners will be speaking to the public tomorrow (Saturday) from 9.30am outside the shops on Stannington Road. Go to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/knowle-top-community-share-offer?experiment=a to obtain shares.