BIG goes big on community regeneration 06/10/08
The BIG Lottery Fund has announced funding of £2.7 million to regenerate and revitalise a range of centres at the heart of communities.

From Taunton to Harrogate, nine communities have secured a slice of the bricks and mortar investment, enabling communities to give their village halls a make-over or to build new community centres from scratch.

Sanjay Dighe, Big Lottery Fund England chair, said: “Buildings like these really are at the centre of daily life, bringing people together, increasing community participation and improving relationships.

"Today’s awards will all give a huge amount back to their local communities by providing a place where people can get together and meet, as well as offering essential services to make these great places for local families to live, play and learn - right on the doorstep of the community.”

Among the successful communities is the Arkendale Memorial Hall in Yorkshire and the Humber region, who will use a £173,000 grant to replace their recently demolished, 87-year-old village hall with a modern timber structure imported from sustainable sources in Finland.

This type of construction is remarkably eco-friendly and has been used there successfully for decades.

Peter Thorndyke, Secretary to the Village Hall Committee, said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded this grant from the Big Lottery Fund which will allow us to build a new village hall that everyone can be proud of.

“Arkendale has been without a communal hall for some time and has had no focal point in which various interest groups could meet, socialise, hold educational sessions and bring together all the different sectors of the community. Our hall will be built in Arkendale, but will offer facilities to residents across the local area. It really will benefit so many people.”

In Herefordshire, the popular Leintwardine Village Hall will get a much-needed expansion with a £277,293 award.

The work, which will take eight months to complete, will see the modernisation of the existing community centre, which originally served as the local school, dating back to 1865.







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