Work started yesterday on refurbishing Leziate Village Hall after grants were awarded of £48,000 to provide new facilities such as a kitchen, toilets and heating.
The Leziate, Ashwicken and Bawsey Village Hall committee have been hard at work for months putting plans in motion, and were thrilled to hear the news.
Debbie Ess, the committee secretary, said: “We are delighted to announce that WREN have awarded us a grant of £43,685 to go towards the cost of refurbishing the hall to bring it up to current standards.”
WREN is a non-profit business which receives most of its funding from the landfill tax levied by FCC Environment.
She added: “The Norfolk Community Foundation has also awarded a grant to the village hall for the sum of £4,806. They award grants to local groups and projects that will make a real difference to the community and the people they serve.”
In addition to these grants, the management committee have also held many fundraising events over the last five years, from summer and Christmas fairs to race nights, quiz nights, prize bingo and a scavenger hunt which meant they were able to contribute £10,000 to the refurbishments.
Pauline Pullum, chairman of the committee, said: “We’ve been fundraising for years and managed to squirrel a lot away. The toilets were grim to say the least and had to be done. The kitchen, you could make a cup of tea in it but you wouldn’t want to do any cooking in there.
“When you walked in it looked alright, but this work will mean it will finally be clean and our new kitchen will lend itself to cooking clubs and suppers.”
Debbie said: “This amount, together with the generous donations from WREN and the NFC will help to provide new facilities such as a kitchen, toilets, fire doors, heating and flooring.
“This will give it a fresh and modern look which will hopefully appeal to a wider audience within the community.”
She added: “We would like to thank the community for attending our fundraising events, our regular hirers for their continued support and co-operation during the forthcoming works, and committee members past and present for their hard work.”
The building is home to several community groups that meet there regularly throughout the year, including aerobics, Leziate Youth Drop-In Centre, West Norfolk Ringcraft, Short Mat Bowls, Leziate WI, Centre Stage Swing Band, Bridge Club, 8th King’s Lynn Scout Group, In-2-Stitch, King’s Lynn Art Club, Leziate Parish Council, Indian cookery classes and flower arranging classes.
The committee still have space for more groups to sign up to use the hall from its reopening date on April 5, if interested, contact Pauline on 01553 630319.
She said: “We would love to have some mum and toddler groups join us, but anyone is welcome.”
Jo Maddock, grants officer for the Norfolk Community Foundation, said: “The panel were very keen to ensure that the larger project go ahead by topping up the funds, especially to support the community activities of such a small and rural parish.”
Work will be completed by the end of March and the mayor will open the hall on April 5.