Volunteers raise tens of thousands to save village hall

PUBLISHED: 07:30 05 January 2018

Members of the campaign to save the village hall and of one of the dog training groups which has used the hall for decades.

Members of the campaign to save the village hall and of one of the dog training groups which has used the hall for decades.

Archant

A village hall which is ‘key to community spirit’ has been saved after a dedicated team of volunteers raised almost £100,000.

Villagers have agreed to buy Hewish and Puxton Village Hall for £85,000, just 12 months before its lease was due to expire – with the prospect of demolition and a dearth of community facilities looming.

Volunteers feared a ‘severe’ impact on the parish if the hall, in Maysgreen Lane, was lost.

But in just a few short months £88,000 has been raised, and villagers will soon be in possession of the keys to the ‘widely-used’ facility – with refurbishment plans in the pipeline.

The hall has been used by community groups for more than 50 years.

Fundraiser Lynda Redding told the Mercury: “The village hall committee negotiated with the landlord who had agreed to sell the land and hall for £85,000. A total of £88,000 has now been raised so the community can buy the hall and secure its future.

“We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been so generous and enabled us to get this far.

“The parish agreed to donate the £40,000 in the parish fund. Local businesses, harvest homes and young farmers events have been generous in their donations and we know there is more to come from people who live in the village.”

At the launch of the Save Hewish and Puxton Village Hall Campaign in September, village hall committee chairman Christine Richardson said: “It’s a very busy and popular facility.

“The playgroup, the parish council, and the WI use it, and one of the dog groups has been here for more than 30 years.

“It’s the local polling station, North Somerset Brass Band uses it and we’ve got a couple of dance groups who use it too, so it is widely used.”

But despite reaching its goal within three months, the campaign is not finished yet.

Ms Redding added: “The purchase needs to be completed as soon as possible as the roof needs replacing this year.

“Fundraising will continue after the purchase as, in addition to the roof, the kitchen and meeting room need refurbishment and insulation is required.

“With continued support from the community Hewish and Puxton will have a village hall for future generations.”

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