DUNCTON villagers rallied round, and welcomed a VIP to celebrate the refurbishment of their hall.
Nigel Clifford is chairman of the village hall committee, and was thrilled to welcome MP Nick Herbert to cut the ribbon and mark the event.
Adding a touch of history to the occasion, Nigel and his team unearthed a plaque that had been affixed to the original building many years ago, and have incorporated it into the brickwork of the new structure.
Mr Herbert told the Observer: “I think it’s fantastic that a small village like this has been able to raise the funds needed to complete their project.
“It’s nice to be invited – it is a real pleasure to be here, and this will make the hall much better, with plenty of extra room to accompany the fabulous views of the Downs.”
The hall was opened on April 1, 2000, to mark the millennium, and has gone from strength to strength ever since.
And overlooking the stunning rolling hills of the Downs, it is not hard to see why Duncton villagers are so keen to see their hall expand and become a hub not only for the community, but a flourishing business for weddings.
Parish councillor Daphne Withers was delighted with the progress made at the hall, “This hall really needed more work done on it - the acoustics are not ideal so another room was definitely needed.
“The space has been enlarged two or three times over the years, and was even a cricket pavilion at one point, but it is now looking very good.”
West Sussex county councillor Michael Brown went along to the opening to lend his support to a community project.
“I helped arrange for some of the funding for the hall, and I think it is lovely.
“The extension is excellent and has been done to an incredibly high standard.
“I attend Duncton parish council meetings on a regular basis but they can now be held in a better room, which is a great improvement and certainly a step forward.”
Chairman of the grants panel at Chichester District Council, Tony Dignum, was thrilled to have seen the project come to life.
“We gave Duncton Hall £15,000 last year.
“We like to help capital projects such as this, which will last and work successfully.”