A PARISH hall in Malvern will be revamped so it can be used by more people after it was awarded £80,000 from The National Lottery Community Fund.
Castlemorton Parish Hall received the news ahead of Village Halls Week which starts today and runs until Sunday.
The venue is used by hundreds of people every year and hosts a variety of activities, including a film club, pilates, karate, dog training and committee meetings.
The cash will mean a second room can be built so more activities can take place at the same time and the hall will be able to accommodate larger events, such as wedding receptions. The toilets and the hall’s outside appearance will also be transformed.
Don Lupton, Castlemorton Parish Hall’s project manager, said: “After three years of planning, it’s fantastic to start seeing our visions come to life and it’s all thanks to money raised by National Lottery players.
“Our village hall is the social centre of the community – it’s a place where many people meet up so we can’t wait to offer an improved space for many more activities like coffee mornings and toddler groups.”
He added faster broadband had also recently been installed so he hoped to see local businesses using the hall as well.
The cash came as part of the ‘Community First’ scheme which is bringing village hall committees together to share their experiences, moot ideas to reduce loneliness and make venues more accessible for people living with dementia.
The One Step Out project is also linking with the public sector and voluntary and community sector organisations, such as Age UK and Herefordshire and Worcestershire Fire and Rescue Service, so other services can be delivered from village halls.
Mark Herriott, general manager at Community First, said: “Village halls are lifelines in rural communities and are sometimes the only place where local people can come together.
“With many village pubs closing, vital meeting places are being lost, which is why this National Lottery funding is so important.”
He added the aim was to ensure the good work village halls was doing was continued, especially when it came to reducing loneliness.
“We offer advice and ideas to help tackle this, such as bringing young people into village halls to show older people how they play video games, or setting up a neighbourhood transport scheme to access the hall.”
Other groups wanting to apply for lottery funding can visit TNLCommunityFund.org.uk to find out more.