Village hall fit for the future after major refurb

Partners have completed a village hall’s major refurbishment project.

Jenny Harrison cuts the ribbon.
Jenny Harrison cuts the ribbon.

Wilsford Village Hall officially re-opened on Tuesday, August 16, a year after the project started to redecorate, refurbish toilets, lay new floor coverings, create a new storeroom and insulate the main hall, installing new heating units and low energy lighting.

The ribbon was cut by Wilsford resident Jenny Harrison, treasurer of the Community Land Trust, freeholder of the hall. She recalled how the idea for the project began four years ago, boosted by a National Lottery Community Fund grant of almost £150,000, along with support from Wilsford Community Land Trust, Bernard Sunley Charitable Trust and Wilsford Parish Council, together with village hall funds.

“Covid set everything back,” she said, "and then there were significant delays due to material shortages, plus cost increases, but we got there in the end.”

The village hall was built in 1981 as the sports hall for the former village primary school next door, but was difficult to heat in winter.

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James Bell, chairman of the Village Hall Committee added: “We are now bidding for a grant to replace the main entrance doors with accessible electrically powered ones, and we also want to refurbish the kitchen and complete some external works as well. For small villages like ours, the village hall is a vital community hub.”

A group is working on plans for a ground source heat pump and solar panels​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ for the hall and neighbouring properties.