Friday, 19 April 2019

Makeover for hall to encourage more hire

THE trustees of Whitchurch village hall are to seek funding for improvements.

They have already spent £7,000 replacing all the windows at the building in Manor Road with double-glazed ones.

Now they want to refurbish the hall to make it more attractive for people to hire and improve its long-term viability.

The work could include retiling the floor in the main hall and smaller meeting room, repairing the stage lights and replacing the stage curtains and the window curtains.

The trustees also want to install a new boiler, new toilets and sinks and to put in a new wi-fi system.

The kitchen would have a new fridge, freezer, microwave and cutlery and crockery as well as new floor tiles.

Outside the car park would be resurfaced and the dustbins provided with lockable storage space.

Volunteers are already planning to repaint the interior walls, clean out the storage areas and erect a new notice board showing the history of the building.

The trustees will apply to South Oxfordshire District Council and other bodies for grants as well as running fund-raising events and hope to have the work completed by April 2020.

Whitchurch Parish Council, which paid for the new windows, has pledged £2,000 towards the work.

The trustees will decide how many of the improvements can be completed once they know how much money is available.

They say: “The hall should be the community centre for a village such as ours, where groups and associations meet and social activities are promoted.

“With better facilities we would expect to attract much more of these and this would enable us to cover all running and maintenance costs.”

It is hoped that the new- look hall will host a regular tea afternoon for the elderly and that more amateur drama groups will want to stage productions there.

In a recent consultation on the Whitchurch village plan, just over half of respondents said they wouldn’t consider hiring the hall for a private function and some said it was in a poorer condition than the parish hall at nearby Goring Heath.

The hall was originally built as a recreation centre for Canadian airmen who were stationed in the village during the Second World War.

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