October 19, 2015 | Community News
Work to carry out repairs to the leaking roof at a popular South Yorkshire village hall will lead to more local people making use of the whole building.
That’s the hope of the management committee at Hickleton Village Hall near Rotherham after a £3,000 grant from the community fund linked to renewable energy firm Banks Renewables’ nearby Marr wind farm paid for the repairs to be carried out by local firm M Lawton.
Originally founded in 1948, Hickleton Village Hall is the only community facility of its type in the village, and was taken over two and a half years ago by a team of volunteers, with a regular Friday bar night held in the downstairs room to help raise money for the upkeep of the building.
The upstairs meeting space plays host to a range of events including parish council meetings, children’s parties, christenings and visits from outside speakers, but with the roof allowing water into the building and structural conditions getting worse, it was facing being taken out of use before the grant was secured.
And having now been watertight again, the committee has had the room properly redecorated, which it hopes will help to attracted more people to use it for their events.
Gordon Wordsworth, chairman of the Hickleton Village Hall management committee, says: “While the village hall is pretty much self-sustaining from a financial point of view, we simply don’t have the capital available to make this sort of repair to the building, and without Banks Renewables’ generous support, we would have had to make do and mend until the room became too damp to use safely.
“Having this work carried out before the winter sets in, and then taking the chance to redecorate has made a huge difference to the facilities we can offer, and the feedback we’ve had from users has been great.
“Getting more people in to use what we offer will create a virtuous circle, with generating more revenue meaning we can keep the venue running and do even more to make things as welcoming as possible.”
The Marr Community Fund was set up to enable Banks Renewables to fund a range of community and environmental improvements in partnership with local people using part of the revenues generated by the Marr wind farm.
It’s the second time this year that the Hickleton Village Hall has applied successfully to the fund, with a £2,100 grant paying for the purchase of three new leather sofas to replace the hard wooden chairs that it previously had in place.
Lewis Stokes, development relations coordinator at Banks Renewables, says: “Seeing the Marr community fund directly helping valuable local organisations such as Hickleton Village Hall is great in itself, and enabling local businesses to win contracts for the work it is funding is an added bonus.”
Any community groups in Marr, Hickleton, Barnburgh or Harlington that are interested in applying for funding from the Marr Community Fund can find out more information about doing so by contacting James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342
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