Work has started on a £44,000 revamp of the village hall at Gravenhurst.
The project will involve the removal of two internal pillars that restrict full use of the floor space, replacement of the building’s roof, fascias, soffits and guttering, an overhaul of the damp course and improvements to the floor.
The hall, built in 1903, was originally a reading room and now has a main hall, kitchen and toilets. The roof leaks when it rains and the ineffective damp-course is affecting the building’s integrity.
A wide range of organisations use the hall throughout the week, including a carpet bowls club, pilates class, chair yoga, a pre-school and a regular dancing class. It is also used for activities for Gravenhurst Academy, events organised by the hall committee, and private events such as birthday parties.
The Veolia Environmental Trust awarded a grant of £34,693 through the Landfill Communities Fund and the hall committee will make up the remainder from reserves. The hall has not been refurbished or redeveloped since 1975 and feedback from regular users and local residents also indicated the hall needed to be improved and the committee anticipates that use will increase once the work is complete.
Chairman of the hall committee, Christine Knight, said: “We are so pleased that this work is starting. These much-needed improvements will mean the hall will be a more welcoming and user-friendly venue for community events and activities, whatever the weather.” Work began on Monday, July 11.
Executive director of The Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, said: “It is always great to hear about the start of a project we are supporting. I look forward to hearing about its progress.”