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Cash fears as Bury St Edmunds charity Gatehouse misses out on waste hub contract

A Bury St Edmunds charity fears one of its main fund-raising streams has been compromised after it missed out on a contract at West Suffolk’s new waste hub.

Gatehouse says it is in limbo after discovering it lost a bid to run the reuse shop at the West Suffolk Operational Hub, near Bury – with the contract awarded to an unnamed charity.

Amanda Bloomfield, chief executive at Gatehouse, which runs a foodbank and dementia hub, is concerned that the decision could see the charity lose out on its supply of reuse items from household waste recycling centres, which would hit the £100,000-a-year fund-raising stream from its home furniture store.

Amanda Bloomfield in the Home Store at Gatehouse. Picture: Penny Morgan
Amanda Bloomfield in the Home Store at Gatehouse. Picture: Penny Morgan

She said: “It’s quite an uncertain future for us at the moment because we don’t know how it will affect us by not receiving all the reuse.

“There is potential that this change in our supply of reuse will have an impact on our services for dementia and the foodbank as we relied heavily on the fund-raising stream of approx £100,000 per year that the Home Store created to fund the core expenses.

“Myself and the trustee team are looking at contingency plans for the future of all our services.”

West Suffolk Operational Hub. Picture: Mark Westley
West Suffolk Operational Hub. Picture: Mark Westley

She said she hoped they would be able to work with the successful charity.

The Home Store, in Dettingen Way, would continue to run as normal and is open to receive donations from the general public between 9am to 3pm, Monday to Friday.

Amanda added: "We do ask that the public do not leave items outside as this often ends up costing us money to dispose of unwanted and spoilt donations."

A spokeswoman for FCC Environment, which operates Suffolk’s recycling centres and ran the tender for the Bury and Ipswich reuse shops, said the preferred bidder was a charity with services which would ‘benefit all areas within the county’.

She added it would continue to support Gatehouse’s services and had asked the preferred bidder to contact Gatehouse and other charities ‘to look for opportunities to work together to increase reuse and deliver even more community benefits’.

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