Residents are celebrating the success of an eight-year fundraising campaign to build a new village hall as the first bricks are laid in the construction of the Peldon and Wigboroughs Community Centre.
The £500,000 project has been made possible thanks to Peldon Village Hall Management Committee (PVHMC) which successfully secured significant funding from Essex County Council’s Community Initiatives Fund (CIF), the Abberton Reservoir Community Fund, Colchester Borough Council’s Big Choice Fund and Essex Community Foundation’s Jean and Peter Davey Charitable Fund.
It will also be helped by funds from the sale of the derelict village hall in neighbouring Great Wigborough later this year.
In addition, over 200 residents supported the project via the Committee’s “Buy-a-Brick” appeal which raised a further £13,000 to date.
Bob Holmes, Peldon Village Hall Management Committee said: “A huge thank you to Essex County Council, Abberton Reservoir Community Fund, Colchester Borough Council and Essex Community Foundation who, along with local residents, have all made such a major stake in the new building.
This welcoming space will become a vital asset that the people of Peldon, Great and Little Wigborough, Mersea and other surrounding villages can enjoy for years to come.”
On Friday 3 March, Cllr John Jowers, Vice Chairman of Essex County Council visited Bob Holmes, Treasurer of PVHMC at the site to present him with a payment of £77,454 from the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) - part of a total sum of £181,730 awarded to the project from CIF between 2009 and 2016. They were joined by Councillor Paul Smith, Leader of Colchester Borough Council and Paul Hill, Head of Grants and Programmes, Essex Community Foundation along with local residents and construction company, Stroods.
The new community centre will be twice the size of the original 1960s built village hall which had become increasingly expensive for the committee to maintain, with rotten woodwork and a leaking roof.
This larger building is designed to meet the growing needs of the community and will feature a sprung or cushioned floor in the main hall with provision for modern sound, lighting and audio-visual systems, a hearing loop and Wifi. The front foyer will be open during daylight hours and will include a vending machine and toilet facilities to benefit the increasing number of visitors to the neighbouring Abberton Reservoir.
Stroods Specialist Contractors of West Mersea are undertaking the construction. The new hall is expected to be finished in the summer of 2017.
Progress on the construction of the community centre can be followed on Facebook: www.facebook.com/peldonvillagehall/
For more information about Essex County Council’s Community Initiatives Fund visit essex.gov.uk/cif