Delight at new village hall near Ipswich after 30 years waiting

Judith Bignell-Pepper, former chairman of the old hall, in the new Grundisburgh Village Hall, at the

Judith Bignell-Pepper, former chairman of the old hall, in the new Grundisburgh Village Hall, at the church information table for the open day. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

A new village hall has opened in Grundisburgh after 30 years of the village waiting. 

Former trustee, Peter Kendall, in the bar of the new Grundisburgh Village Hall. Picture: DENISE BRAD

Former trustee, Peter Kendall, in the bar of the new Grundisburgh Village Hall. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

Grundisburgh Village Hall sits, just off Ipswich Road, and replaces the old hall on the same road near to the junction with Felgate Way.

Trustees at the new Grundisburgh Village Hall, from left, John Ellerby; chairman Bryan Laxton; and C

Trustees at the new Grundisburgh Village Hall, from left, John Ellerby, chairman Bryan Laxton, and Chris Dow. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

The old hall was full of damp and mould and is being replaced with two houses built by contractors, DAB, who also built the new hall.

The chairman of the trustees, Bryan Laxton, inside the new Grundisburgh Village Hall. Picture: DENIS

The chairman of the trustees, Bryan Laxton, inside the new Grundisburgh Village Hall. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

Bryan Laxton, chair of the new Grundisburgh Village Hall, said he was overwhelmed by the positive response by the public. 

Caroline Bell, centre, Brown Owl, and Sharon Proctor, Tawny Owl, help five-year-old Ava Anderson to

Caroline Bell, centre, Brown Owl, and Sharon Proctor, Tawny Owl, help five-year-old Ava Anderson to make a butterfly at the open day at the new Grundisburgh Village Hall. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

He explained more than 500 visited during their first open day and cannot believe how positive the response has been. 

The new Grundisburgh Village Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The new Grundisburgh Village Hall.

It costs in total around £750,000 to build the 2,000 sq ft hall that contains a bar, kitchen, meeting room, and toilets and 50 car parking spaces outside. 

One of the storage areas in the new Grundisburgh Village Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

One of the storage areas in the new Grundisburgh Village Hall. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

It has been a long struggle to get the centre for the community built and it involved a lot of fundraising from Grundisburgh residents. 

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Mr Laxton added that this is the third attempt to open a new village hall which has taken more than 30 years to find the right location to put it. 

Trustees at the new Grundisburgh Village Hall, from left, John Ellerby; chairman Bryan Laxton; and C

Trustees at the new Grundisburgh Village Hall, from left, John Ellerby; chairman Bryan Laxton; and Chris Dow. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

"My neighbours moved here 38 years ago and they said the first meeting they went to was about the village hall," he said. 

The Grundisburgh Village Hall sign. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The Grundisburgh Village Hall sign. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2022

Community fundraising events including cake sales, bike rides and pantomimes within the village helped to raise almost £100,000.

Members of the Upbeat Ladies Choir, from left, Monica Boosey, Jean Ellinor, and Lyn Silk, encouragin

Members of the Upbeat Ladies Choir, from left, Monica Boosey, Jean Ellinor, and Lyn Silk, encouraging new members at the new Grundisburgh Village Hall open day.

A further £200,000 of grant funding was awarded to the project by the National Lottery Community Fund alongside almost £50,000 from other grant-giving entities which will all go towards the new hall.

The new Grundisburgh Village Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The new Grundisburgh Village Hall.

So far it's had booking for people looking to get their decade milestone birthdays celebrated and one couple who has waited two years to hold a wedding reception due to Covid restrictions. 

The new Grundisburgh Village Hall. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The new Grundisburgh Village Hall.

It will have a drama club, bowls, youth, folk, a ladies choir, pilates and singing ducklings groups meeting regularly in the new hall. 

To book please email bookings@gnvh.co.uk.