The Metfield Village Hall committee says its vision of transforming the venue into a hub for the community and small businesses could become a reality within the year.
The committee’s hopes have been raised after it was awarded a substantial lottery grant from the Big Lottery Fund, to refurbish and extend the existing village hall, and create the Metfield Community Hub, for use by local companies and community groups.
A large gathering of village residents met at the venue last Saturday to celebrate this funding of the hub, which is intended to be operational by the end of 2016.
Lorraine McEvoy, chair of the committee, said: “We are very grateful for the support of The Big Lottery Fund to enable us to develop this important and exciting community project.
“The committee trustees would also like to extend a special thanks to the community hub grant application team for their effort and commitment to the project over the last two years.”
The hub is now set to incorporate a new lounge area in the extension, and also fully renovate the existing building to include a bar and a commercially-equipped kitchen.
Committee members have said they are hopeful these new facilities will help to encourage active community participation across all ages, as well as small business activities, such as catering and hospitality.
Barbara Vidion, leader of the community hub grant application team, said: “The prospect of turning our village hall into a community hub is a hugely exciting outcome for the residents of Metfield and the surrounding area.
“We will be in a much better position to tackle rural and social isolation of the young and elderly as well as other members of the local community including home workers.”
The committee also explained that upon completion, the hub will be managed by a crew of volunteers, with the aim of providing a relaxed and informal meeting place for the entire community.
Eve Peck, the hall’s secretary and booking clerk, added: “I remember the original village hall, which was built in 1934 and played a big part in community life.
Now we have the prospect of the community hub adapting our existing village hall to meet the changing needs of village life now and into the future.”
To stay up to date with the goings-on at Metfield Village Hall, go to www.facebook.com/metfieldvh