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Success at last for village hall project

PUBLISHED: 08:42 30 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:56 03 March 2010

IT'S THIRD time lucky for the village of Woolpit after it was handed more than £200,000 of funding to renovate its village hall.

After being turned down twice in the last two years for cash to help transform the 25-year-old building, they have finally been selected to give it a major overhaul.

IT'S THIRD time lucky for the village of Woolpit after it was handed more than £200,000 of funding to renovate its village hall.

After being turned down twice in the last two years for cash to help transform the 25-year-old building, they have finally been selected to give it a major overhaul.

The Community Fund, a group which gives Lottery money to charities and voluntary and community groups, has awarded 22 grants worth over £2.5million throughout the Eastern region and part of this will be heading to Woolpit.

In addition to the Community Fund money, Woolpit has been given further revenue through Mid Suffolk District Council and Arts Council England.

Chairman of the Steering Group and vice-chairman of the Village Hall Roger Eburne said the granting of the funds was the conclusion of three years of applications.

He said: "We've applied for the last three years and in 2001 and 2002 we were turned down by the Community Fund and Mid Suffolk District Council.

"But this year we will receive £113,000 from the Community Fund, £70,000 from the Arts Council England, East and £35,000 from Mid Suffolk District Council."

Mr Eburne, who lives in Woolpit, said he thought the reason they had been

chosen this time was because of the community benefits that would be felt from a renovated hall, which had been highlighted in the last two unsuccessful attempts.

He said: "We have around 35 groups who regularly use it for everything from carpet bowls to a drama playgroup so there will be plenty of people who feel the benefit.

"In order to get the money, we've had to spend money, and in the last three years we've spent between £7,000 and £8,000 in architects and surveyors fees to get our applications in."

Some of the money given to the hall we be spent on improving disabled facilities such as building ramps, rails and even a lift to allow wheelchair access to the stage. Mr Eburne estimated that £30,000 alone will be spent on facilities for the disabled.

"The money spent on the hall will also help us to generate more money. We're going to refurbish the kitchen which means we will be able to held functions such as wedding receptions, particularly as the church is just over the road."

Lynn Morgan, regional manager at Community Fund said: "The village hall is particularly well used and has a very good degree of both community and arts projects. We are pleased to fund this project and it is very satisfying that we have been able to work jointly with our arts funding colleagues to achieve a successful outcome."

The Community Fund gives Lottery money to charities and voluntary and community groups.

WEBLINKS

www.community-fund.org.uk

www.artscouncil.org.uk


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