Banks Group grant sounds fantastic to Bishopton Village Hall visitors

November 14, 2011 | Bowesfield News

Entertainment and information for visitors to a Teesside village hall is now coming through loud and clear thanks to the arrival of new audio visual equipment.

Funded through a £2,199 grant by local developer The Banks Group, via its Banks Community Fund, the new equipment that has been installed at Bishopton Village Hall, near Stockton is making the community resource even more popular with visitors of all ages.

Bishopton Village Hall is used by around 350 people who live in the village and across the surrounding countryside, and hosts a wide range of events and organisations, from the Womens’ Institute, Rainbows, Brownies and a Whist group through to Keep Fit and Zumba classes.

The new audio visual equipment, which includes a microphone, amplifier and loud speakers, is part of a rolling refurbishment programme at the village hall.

Geoffrey Baines, chairman of Bishopton Village Hall Association, says: “We have visitors using the hall pretty much every night and the acoustics were not the best, so it was quite difficult at times for guest speakers and group leaders to be heard, especially when we’re at our capacity of 80 visitors.

“This new equipment has made a huge difference and all our user groups are benefitting, and it’s even helping the trustees to fund-raise for future renovation and upkeep – for example, our next fund-raising venture is a race night in the village hall and the new kit will play a key role in the evening.

“This village hall has been in use here for 50 years and it’s a vital place for the local community to come together.  We receive no state funding so grants like those given by The Banks Group are vital to our future and we’re very grateful for their support.”

Banks is the company behind the development of the unique Bowesfield site on the banks of the river Tees in Stockton, which incorporates an integrated 15-hectare wildlife conservation area that is open to the public alongside residential and commercial development.

A planning application for 37 new four and five-bedroom homes at the site has recently been submitted to Stockton Borough Council.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, says: “Banks’ policy is to deliver tangible local community and environmental benefits along with our development projects.  We’re very pleased to help Bishopton Village Hall Association continue their excellent work to provide a venue for varied activities for residents of all ages and it’s a pleasure to see the equipment we’ve funded being used to such good effect.”

Projects, community groups, or organisations looking for funding in the vicinity of a Banks Group development should contact Clare Johnson at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342.

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