Thornham Village Hall is set to become greener and more energy self-sufficient after being awarded £12,500 in a national renewable community energy project.
The hall entered a competition for a Marks and Spencer Energy Funding grant in an effort to secure funding for the installation of solar panels.
John Warham, chairman of the Trustees, said: “We are really excited to have won this award, in the face of some very strong competition, and I would like to thank all our supporters, from far and wide, who voted for us in this project.”
The Mars and Spencer energy fund competition, now in its second year, recorded a staggering 78,837 votes.
Thornham Village Hall is one of only 26 projects nationwide to be awarded a grant.
Jonathan Hazeldine, head of Mars and Spencer Energy, said “The competition was fierce and we’ve been overwhelmed by the participation from the public who have voted in their tens of thousands.
“They’ve also donated over £28,000 through the crowdfunding tool on our website which has been brilliant – for local community groups every small donation can make a massive difference.
“We are looking forward to seeing the projects come to life and benefit local communities.
“As a 100 per cent green energy provider, supporting those who share our vision of a sustainable future through renewable energy is really important to our company, our customers and our colleagues.”
Thornham Village Hall, which was officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 2014, already has eco-friendly credentials, and boasts ground-source heating and grey-water recycling.
The hall has nine trustees who work alongside a team of dedicated volunteers to maintain the building and run events for the community.
Paul Murrell, communications and events maanager for the hall, said: “Thornham Village Hall has to be one of the best event venues in the county.
“It boasts amazing facilities with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment.
“The hall regularly shows live by satellite productions of ballet and opera and incorporates the village cinema, together with live theatre on the adjoining playing field in the summer.”
A wide range of activities are hosted at the hall, from weddings to business conferences, and art exhibitions to meditation weekends. It also holds regular live theatre and ballet presentations via satellite, as well as cinema and live theatre.
Among the key activities are the established family fun day and dog show held on August Bank Holiday Sunday, the Trustees have now introduced a six-a-side cricket tournament.
Next year, there will be a plant, rural craft and family day featuring the best of Norfolk Nurseries and Crafts.
Plans are also afoot to introduce a food and drink event which will encapsulate the best in speciality foods and drinks produced in Norfolk.
For more information on the hall, visit: www.thornhamvillagehall.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org