Parish rooms quest goes on

PROGRESS is being made in a bid to raise £300,000 to upgrade the Burness Parish Rooms in Melton.Permission to expand and modernise the hall was granted by Suffolk Coastal more than eight months ago but members of the management committee faced the problem of raising the required £300,000.

PROGRESS is being made in a bid to raise £300,000 to upgrade the Burness Parish Rooms in Melton.

Permission to expand and modernise the hall was granted by Suffolk Coastal more than eight months ago but members of the management committee faced the problem of raising the required £300,000.

They have now raised around £105,000 and will begin the first phase of the work in the Autumn.

Colin Birkbeck, chairman of the management committee, said: "We want to make a start on it so that people can see that things are happening and it hasn't been forgotten about.

"The front of the building is looking very sad at the moment."

The frontage of the building has listed status. New window frames will be installed and re-pointing carried out on the brickwork to restore it to its former glory.

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These renovations will be funded by money from the Market Towns Initiative.

The rooms, in The Street, Melton were built and donated by James Burness in 1904 and became a registered charity in 1929.

Because the rooms are an independent charity the committee receives no direct funding from any sources and the only income it receives is from fees levied on users, room hire or fund raising.

The committee are currently researching an application for a lottery grant and have already successfully gained a grant from Suffolk Coastal.

One of the main improvements they are hoping to add to the hall is secure facilities for a sub post office. The kitchen will also be enlarged and upgraded, and the building's lighting, heating, security and phone systems will be improved.

Access to the function room will be altered so that two events can occur at the same time, and the area outside the building will be landscaped and off-street parking provided.

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