A major refurbishment programme to transform a 1920s built village hall has completed its first phase and was officially opened by The Rt Hon Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow.
On Sunday 20 November, local people came together to celebrate the completion of phase one works to Hastingwood Village Hall and personally thank those involved in funding the project.
Robert Halfon, MP said: "Congratulations to the Hastingwood Village Hall committee, for all of their amazing hard work in raising over £100,000 - an incredible sum of money. The amazing new facilities this has paid for has transformed the village hall and made such a difference to local residents. I'd also like to thank Essex County Council, Councillor David Stallan, and North Weald Church as well for all of their support."
Guest, Cllr John Aldridge, Chairman of Essex County Council, said: “I’m very proud that Essex County Council was able to support the project through its Community Initiatives Fund and I’m sure it will be greatly enjoyed by local people for many more years to come.”
Work comprised a brand new extension offering increased storage facilities, new toilets and disabled facilities; new electrics throughout, repairs to roof, guttering and cladding, with exterior painting due to take place soon.
Brian Bartram from North Weald Parish Council said: “We are thrilled with our new improved village hall which has transformed this well used local asset into a more efficient and attractive building that will improve our hall as a venue for events and activities.
“I would like to thank the Village Hall Committee for its hard work in bringing phase one to fruition and its success in attracting major funding from Essex County Council’s Community Initiatives Fund, Epping Forest District Council, North Weald Parish Council and via its local village hall activities.”
Phase one of the project was made possible thanks to £70,000 from North Weald Parish Council which included £50,000 Section 106 funds set aside for the hall from developer contributions, £20,000 from Essex County Council’s Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) with a further £18,256 from the County Council’s CIF Emergency Response Fund and £2,500 from Epping Forest District Council.
Cllr Simon Walsh, Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste who leads the CIF programme said: “Since CIF launched ten years ago, we’ve invested almost £20 million into a diversity of community projects with an aim to help make our communities greener, healthier and safer places.”
Cllr Anthony Jackson, Local County Councillor for North Weald and Nazeing, added: “Hastingwood Village Hall is a vital asset to the local community and to see its transformation is very heartening – well done to all involved.”
For more information about Essex County Council’s Community Initiatives Fund visit essex.gov.uk/cif