May 27, 2016 | Community News
The latest stage of work to improve the facilities at a busy South Yorkshire community venue has been completed thanks to the support of a renewable energy firm.
The Thurcroft Welfare Community Hall has seen a progressive programme of improvements carried out over the last 12 years after the management of what was then a struggling and increasingly dilapidated facility was taken over by a group of local volunteers.
A £3,000 grant from Banks Renewables via its Penny Hill Wind Farm Community Fund has enabled the Hall committee to have the gents toilets replaced and upgraded, with new toddler-friendly facilities also included in the work.
Local firms Heatflow Commercial Plumbing & Heating, Richard Brown Electrical Services, laminating specialists Lamfab and SCR Flooring were awarded the contracts to carry out the installation work.
Banks Renewables is a long-term supporter of the Thurcroft Welfare Community Hall, with a £5,000 Banks Community Fund grant provided in 2012 to pay for the installation of a new suspended ceiling, complete with new lighting and insulation, which it is estimated has helped to cut the hall’s energy bills by around £2,500 every year.
A further £15,573 grant then followed to pay for the complete refurbishment of the hall, with new lighting, wall linings, insulation, flooring, plastering, decoration and a new ceiling all being put in place.
Originally opened in 1925 for the use of local miners and their families, the Hall is now used for a wide variety of community events, including toddler groups, OAP meetings, martial arts training, dance classes, wedding receptions and childrens’ parties.
Kevin Booth, a member of the Thurcroft Community Welfare Hall trustees’ committee, says: “The gradual improvements we’ve made to the Hall over the years has turned it from a venue that people wouldn’t even look at to one that’s now extremely impressive venue, and which we’re proud to share with so many different parts of the local community.
“The support that Banks Renewables has provided over the years has been invaluable, and this latest grant got us over the line in terms of having the money available to get this much-needed work carried out.
“With the hall used regularly by the local toddler group, we were always worried that one of its young members could have accidentally locked themselves in the toilet, but the measures we’ve now put in place as part of this work will prevent that from happening.
“The feedback we’ve had on the new facilities has been very positive, and we hope they will encourage even more local people to consider using the Hall as a venue for their events and activities.”
The grant was awarded to The Thurcroft Welfare Community Hall from the community fund linked to Banks Renewables’ nearby Penny Hill wind farm, which is ring-fenced for use within the parishes of Aston, Thurcroft, Treeton, Ulley and Whiston, and which has already has seen grants totalling over £40,000 made in support of organisations across these communities.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at The Banks Group, adds: “The community fund linked to our Penny Hill wind farm was specifically designed to support improvements to the facilities that people living in the area can enjoy over the long term.
“Giving further support to the excellent work done by the Thurcroft Welfare Community Hall committee is a great way to turn this idea into tangible outcomes, and seeing the funds stay in the community through local firms winning the contracts for this work is an added bonus.”
Any local groups interested in applying for funding from Banks Renewables’ Penny Hill Wind Farm Community Fund should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342.