£180,000 for improvements to village hall
- Credit: BURWELL PARISH COUNCIL
A £180,000 council grant will help pay for improvements to a 1915-built village hall's kitchen, stage and toilets ahead of an extension that aims to 'create a multi-purpose meeting place'.
Burwell Parish Council will receive the money from East Cambridgeshire District Council to carry out improvements to Gardiner Memorial Hall.
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding was approved unanimously by members of the council’s finance and assets committee on Thursday evening.
The first phase of improvements also includes insulating the roof and installing double glazed windows and LED lighting.
It was also agreed in principle to provide future funding for phase two of the improvement project and further details will be brought to a future finance and assets committee meeting.
This will consist of a new build extension 'to create a flexible multi-purpose meeting space' including two business hub pods.
In September 2020, Burwell Parish Council - who have reserved £15,000 for the refurbishment - received £131,125 from the final round of funding from Cambridgeshire County Council’s £5 million Communities Capital Fund.
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The parish council said the interior of the hall has remained unchanged since the 1960s and hopes that improvements can help it reduce its carbon footprint, running costs and provide improved usage for those who are physically challenged.
Councillor David Brown, chairman of the finance and assets committee for East Cambridgeshire District Council, said: “I am thrilled that we have been able to make a difference to such a worthy project.
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"Community Infrastructure Levy funding is there to support growth and development in the district, and this does exactly that.
“I am also glad to see how quick we have been able to press ahead with delivering funding to Gardiner Memorial Hall.
"The project was added to the CIL infrastructure list at the last full council on February 23 and just over one month later we are already making our first contribution.”
The hall is currently used for community activities such as fitness classes, martial arts groups, early years activities.
Over the years the hall has also been used for parties, weddings, wakes, dances, and performances.
Community activities will continue to be the main use for the hall.
However, during the daytime the hall could be used for other purposes such as business meetings.