Wereham hall campaigners given green light for Lottery cash bid

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Residents’ efforts to build a new village hall have moved a step closer to success after they were invited to submit a full bid for Lottery funding.

Officials say the project to develop a new community hub in Wereham could cost up to £900,000 to complete.

But they have been given the go-ahead to submit a full application to the Big Lottery Fund for a £500,000 grant after an initial bid was backed.

Victoria Gray, chairman of the village hall’s management committee, said: “We are thrilled that our stage one application to the Big Lottery Fund has been approved.

“This community space is vital to our rural community.”

The committee wants to develop a new community hub to replace the existing hall, a YMCA hut which dates back to the First World War and was bricked around during the 1960s. Because of its condition and age, use of the building is restricted.

And Mrs Gray said: “We’ve consulted with our residents and users from the surrounding villages to identify what they need.

“They told us that older and younger people want opportunities to socialise, that all ages want opportunities for physical activity, all ages would like a village cinema and adults would like the opportunity to learn new skills.”

The committee now has until July 28 to submit its bid for full support from the Big Lottery Fund.

They expect to find out whether they have been successful or not this autumn.

And Mrs Gray said the backing of the community is still vital.

“We’ll continue to need support whether it be through attending events, supporting focus groups, becoming a volunteer or fundraising.

“Everyone is able to contribute to the success of this project.”

To find out more about the project, visit www.facebook.com/werehamvillagehall