Staff at a community centre are appealing for thousands of pounds to refurbish a room which could be used for ballet and dance for young people.

Staff at the South Mitcham Community Centre are trying to raise just over £5,000 to revamp a storage room so a range of new classes can be offered to people of all ages keen to learn a new skill.

One of two upstairs rooms at the Haslemere Avenue site on the Phipps Bridge estate has been decorated, with a new carpet, blinds and fresh paint on the walls.

Its neighbour, currently used as a storage room, needs the same treatment, but the centre has to raise the money first.

Wimbledon Guardian:

Storage room: The soon-to-be exercise studio 

The well-used centre is run by the South Mitcham Community Association with funding from Merton Council and donations from private businesses but it says the funding does not cover all of the running costs and they have to find new and innovative ways to raise money.

So far they have raised £10,000 for an on-going refurbishment project but it is not enough.

The centre has a shopping list of work that urgently needs doing, including refurbishing the kitchen, ceilings and toilets.

Wimbledon Guardian:

Target: The centre has raised £10,000 so far

The council has agreed to resurface the stairwell up to the upstairs rooms, and said it will give the centre £38,000 in running costs this year - the same as last year.

Staff are concerned the council’s bid to save £32m over the next few years will impact on them.

For the exercise studio, the centre is hoping to raise £1,800 for a wooden floor with underlay, £400 for two ballet barres, £200 for blinds and £2,000 for a bank of mirrors on one wall. A music system could cost £680, bringing the total cost to £5,080.

Activities co-ordinator and social media manager Melissa Murrill said: "We want to keep the community centre going because it is for the community.

"We are always worried about how the cuts will affect us."

Mrs Murrill said it would mean a lot to the centre’s users to have the room refurbished.

Manager Brenda Josiah said: "We are bracing ourselves for the fall in yearly income.

"We would carry on with the refurbishment - it’s our future expansion we are interested in securing."

Merton Council cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration Councillor Andrew Judge: "I’m not sure if there has been any misconception around funding, but we gave South Mitcham Community Centre £38,000 last year and will be giving them the same amount this year.

"There is no proposal to reduce their funding. And we are getting a quote for the stairwell."

To donate to the refurbishment, contact Mrs Murrill at the centre on 020 8648 3740.