Suffolk hall finally gets a revamp

A LONG overdue revamp on a 100-year-old village hall is finally due to begin this month.Planning permission to transform the Burness parish rooms in Melton was granted over a year ago but trustees faced the problem of raising the £300,000 needed for the work.

A LONG overdue revamp on a 100-year-old village hall is finally due to begin this month.

Planning permission to transform the Burness parish rooms in Melton was granted over a year ago but trustees faced the problem of raising the £300,000 needed for the work.

Fundraising efforts have so far raised around £125,000 and a decision has been made to split the work into two phases to prevent any further delays.

Final preparations are now being made and work on phase one should begin by the end of the month.


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Management committee chairman Colin Birkbeck said: "We'd hoped to begin work on this stage in the autumn but we have been waiting for final confirmation on funding from the MTI, who have given us £25,000.

"Everything is now in place for work to begin in the next few weeks, and it is due to be completed by March."

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

Central heating will also be installed throughout.

The long term plan for expansion will see secure facilities created for a sub post office. The kitchen will be enlarged and upgraded and the building's lighting, heating, security and phone systems will be improved. Landscaping and off-street car parking will also be included.

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

Mr Birkbeck hopes the completion of the first phase of development can be celebrated along with the hall's centenary.

He said: "What we are looking at is a hundred year's worth of wear and tear. We want to bring the hall in to the 21st century and make it a focal point for the wider community.

"We will certainly be holding centenary celebrations when the first phase is complete."

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