GRAFFHAM’S Empire Hall is soon going to be a warmer venue for community activities and events, thanks to a windfall of more than £22,000.
The Veolia Environmental Trust awarded the hall’s management committee a grant of £22,087 to fund the second stage of a three-phase redevelopment project.
Chairman of the hall committee, Jim Kirke, said: “This grant is great news for Graffham and the hall’s users.
“The improvements to the heating will create the right environment for events and activities, and will let us reduce our bills.”
The funds will come as a shot in the arm to the hall committee.
Central to village life, Graffham Empire Hall is a hive of activity, being used regularly by clubs and organisations and hosting everything from popular lunch clubs to exercise sessions.
Well-attended annual events also take place in the hall.
The second phase of the re-development project will address the hall’s heating needs and will improve the building’s insulation, replace the majority of the external doors to cut draughts, and install a new efficient boiler and controls.
Phase one was to redecorate the hall and undertake some essential maintenance.
Once funding is available, phase three will review the hall’s configuration and, if feasible, implement changes to make it more accessible to all.
The grant was awarded at the Veolia Trust’s quarterly board meeting, where a total of £1.4m was awarded to 36 community and environmental projects throughout the UK.
The trust awards grants through the Landfill Communities Fund and since 1998 has awarded more than £2.6m to 110 projects in Sussex.
A spokesman for the trust said: “We will now start working with the management committee to finalise the details of their project, including the start date, so it can get up and running as soon as possible.”
The executive director of the Veolia Environmental Trust, Paul Taylor, added: “We have been supporting community and environmental projects for over 17 years.
“During this time our grants have made a real difference to people’s lives and the environment.
“We are pleased to be helping the hall’s management committee make this project happen and I look forward to seeing work start.”