Villagers flocked to Redford Village Hall to celebrate the reopening of their popular community building after the completion of the first phase of a major refurbishment project.
It took three years of fundraising, but £83,000 has now been spent on replacing the 60-year old asbestos sheet roof with lightweight ceramic tiles, rewiring, installing wall and ceiling insulation as well as metal-frame double-glazed windows and doors in place of the original rotted wood-frame items.
“The hall was open to the public for the monthly market,” said trustee Roger Lovett, “it was packed with people and it was reassuring to count record numbers and takings for the event.”
Although the building was open to the public, he said, numerous tasks remained to be worked on. “In order to keep within budget, the painting and redecoration is being done throughout April by working parties of local residents.
“There are only 70 households in the dispersed rural community and the funding of the project cost was not possible without grant donations from charitable trusts and the local authority.” Although local people gave generously, funding was achieved with grants from Chichester District Council, West Sussex County Council, The Big Lottery Fund, Midhurst Grange Community Association, Sainsbury’s Monument Fund, The Boltini Trust of Woolbeding, Hall & Woodhouse Community Chest and the Garfield Weston Foundation.
Further work is planned, including refurbishment of the kitchen and new window blinds. More grant funding has been applied for that should enable completion of internal works along with final stage external re-cladding with replacement cedar wood.
“It is hoped the first major refurbishment since it was built will enable the village hall to serve the community for another 60 years,” said Roger.
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