West Lindsey District Council has awarded £500 to the Viking Centre and the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service has awarded a further £500 to upgrade the facilities, making them more accessible for people with disabilities.
The self-catering hostel is a registered charity based at Claxby, offering low cost accommodation for groups of up to 20 people at a time and aims to enable people to visit the countryside and enjoy our beautiful green spaces.
David Beer, treasurer of the Viking Centre, said the centre was grateful for the funding which has supported the much-needed upgrade to the shower room.
He said: “As a charity we have very little money in reserve for major projects like this. We keep our prices low so that groups with limited funds can still come to stay and have access to the AONB. We knew that having a modern, accessible toilet and shower room would enable us to welcome more groups who may have members with particular needs, and this was our priority this year.
“We asked the Wolds Countryside Service if they would help us, as they have been very supportive of the Viking Centre in the past. They very kindly gave us £500 to equal the £500 we received from the Covid recovery fund, and now we are thrilled that WLDC have matched their offer with a further £500 so we have the funds to pay for the upgrade in full. Our visitors will be so grateful.”
West Lindsey District Councillor Tom Regis, who represents Claxby area, welcomed the news. He said: “I am pleased that the Council has been able to support the centre. It is in a perfect location for anyone who wants explore the Lincolnshire Wolds whether that is walking or cycling. The Centre offers community groups or families a place to stay that is affordable and now, thanks to the upgrades to the toilet facilities, it is also accessible to a lot more people.”
Helen Gamble, project officer for the Lincolnshire Wolds Countryside Service has been working with the Viking Centre Committee for 22 years.
She said: “Over the years, we have managed to help them with a number of projects to ensure the facilities are up to date and to ensure they can be sustainable both for the people in the Wolds and those visiting the Wolds. The Viking Centre is a great facility with PV Cells, outdoor BBQ and a car park, it is a self-contained unit based on West Lindsey on the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it is certainly is worth a visit.”
The Viking Centre was originally the village Church of England school built in 1851 by the Earl of Yarborough. The school closed in 1971 and the building was redeveloped as the Viking Centre and re-opened in 1982; this redevelopment was funded by the West Lindsey Silver Jubilee Association.
Major refurbishment work was carried out in 1997 after the Centre had been awarded a grant of £68,000 by the National Lotteries Charities Board. Grant funding has enabled us to install central heating, PV panels, new car park, refurbishment of the dormitories and a new kitchen.
More details about the centre and how to book are available at the Viking Centre website.