A chart-topping Bury band have shown their support for a borough social centre to help give it a new lease of life.

Alternative rock band Elbow have donated two tickets to their upcoming gig at Manchester’s Co-op Live in support of St Bernadette’s Social Centre on Selby Avenue in Whitefield.

The centre has served as a venue for residents since opening in 1961 as a club and hosted a range of events such as gigs and cabaret nights.

The centre now functions as a community hub and has been raising funds since 2020 to renovate and modernise the building to help support local groups to put on activities for residents.

Elbow, including lead singer Guy Garvey and his family, have a long-standing connection with St Bernadette’s and even recorded a song, open arms, about the place.

The band have donated tickets to the Manchester leg of their upcoming tour to help raise they money the centre needs for upgrades.

Bury Times: St Bernadette's Social Centre on Selby AvenueSt Bernadette's Social Centre on Selby Avenue

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Cathy Fleming, who organises fundraising for the centre, says the original quote for the refurb was £25,000, but since raising this amount has risen by as much as £10,000.

She said: “We launched a project in 2020 to try and raise £25,000 to update out foyer and move the ladies toilets and do a complete refurb and modernisation and the quote at the time came out as £25,000.

“We raised the £25,000 except now the cost, as has everything, has gone up so we’re just trying to raise that last little bit.”

Since changing use over the last few years, the refurb will allow more community groups to use the centre.

Cathy added: “It used to be a social club, it used to have a bar when it was first built and it's got a function room but over the years it's changed into a community centre so we’ve got lots of groups coming in.

“In the future, we’d like to have more than one group in at the time because I’m having to sometime turn groups away.

“I think at the moment we’ve got lots of people feeling a little bit isolated and after Covid have never really got the courage to come back out again and we’re looking at how well positioned we are. We’re right next to a bus stop, we’re near the tram station.

Bury Times: Elbow have donated two tickets to their upcoming gig at the Co-op Live arenaElbow have donated two tickets to their upcoming gig at the Co-op Live arena

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“Its an ideal building for people to use.”

The proceeds from the raffle will go towards reaching the target for the renovations.

The winning tickets also include backstage passes and transport to and from the venue from the station, airport, or the winner’s home or hotel in Manchester.

Entries can be made through PayPal and tickets cost £5 each. The closing date for entries is 12pm on Sunday, March 31 and the draw will be live at 6pm on the same day.