A busy South Lakeland village hall is warmer, quieter and more secure after a four-figure grant from a renewable energy firm paid for nine new windows to be installed.
The management committee at Preston Patrick Memorial Hall near Crooklands has been undertaking a major programme of refurbishments at the 90 year-old building in order to bring it fully up to scratch and ensure it’s fit for use by local people for their various events and activities.
The latest phase of the project saw nine rotten, leaking windows which are thought to have been in place since the building first opened swapped for double-glazed replacements which meet modern day safety standards and which will make the building both warmer and safer.
A £3,000 grant from renewable energy firm Banks Renewables from the community fund linked to its nearby Armistead Wind Farm has enabled the Hall committee to commission local firm Mark Nellist Ltd to do the work required.
It’s the fourth time that funding from the Banks Group has been given to the Memorial Hall, with a £12,000 grant given in 2012 to help with the re-roofing and insulation of the building.
A further £1,700 grant in 2014 enabling the committee to have new sets of custom-made, fireproofed curtains fitted to the Hall’s stage and all the windows, while a £2,500 donation in the same year allowed for a number of new doors to be fitted.
Preston Patrick Memorial Hall is used for a wide variety of community functions, ranging from dance and fitness classes, band practices and dog training sessions to meetings of groups including the local flower club, Women’s Institute and Young Farmers.
Located close to Junction 36 of the M6, it is an easily accessible venue for events which draw visitors from the wider South Lakeland and north Lancashire areas.
Keith Richardson, chair of the Preston Patrick Memorial Hall management committee, says: “We’ve been working hard to make a lot of improvements to the Hall over the last few years, and Banks Renewables’ continuing support has been crucial in enabling us to keep things moving.
“Replacing the windows has been getting higher and higher on our To Do list as the poor repair into which they’ve fallen has become ever clearer, and the impact that this has had on the environment in the Hall has become ever more obvious.
“Putting the replacements in has made an immediate and very obvious difference – we get a lot of traffic passing by and the added insulation has made the room much quieter than it was previously, while it’s also less draughty and more visibly secure.
“The Hall is as busy as it’s ever been, with bookings being taken for a wide range of different groups, and it’s very pleasing to see all the hard work that’s been put into making it a venue that people want to spend time being so well rewarded.”
The Armistead Wind Farm Community Fund will provide up to £307,500 of community funding from the revenue of the Armistead Wind Farm over its 25-year lifespan to help make a positive, long-term difference to local voluntary groups, environmental projects and community facilities in the area.
Lewis Stokes, community relations manager at the Banks Group, adds: “The Memorial Hall plays a central role in the life of the local community, and the money we’ve been able to direct towards supporting it from the Armistead wind farm benefits fund is due reward for the hard work and commitment of everyone involved with making it the success that it is.
“It’s always a pleasure to be able to support such well used facilities as these.”
Community groups, or voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks’ Armistead Wind Farm that are looking for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342 to see if their project is eligible.