Funding to support invaluable community building

A village hall which offers a huge range of community activities has received funding towards a new roof, thanks to the Woodbridge, Melton and Deben Peninsula Community Partnership.

Following a successful application for funding from the Community Partnership’s Small Grants scheme, Hollesley Village Hall Committee has been awarded £10,000 towards replacing the roof, which was recommended following a building survey in 2019.

Hollesley Village Hall is used widely by local residents and those from surrounding villages for social clubs, functions and activities including tai chi, karate, pilates, yoga, drama, whist and a youth cub, as well as providing a base for medical appointments. 

Cllr James Mallinder, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for the Environment, Deben ward councillor and Acting Chair of the Community Partnership said: “One of the Community Partnership’s top priorities is the creation of ‘village hubs’ and Hollesley Village Hall is an invaluable local asset, already used for a host of community activities attended by an estimated 1,000 people each month. Many of these activities provide opportunities for meeting others and reducing loneliness, which is essential for wellbeing. The new roof will enable the hall to continue to be used by local residents for years to come.”

Gerry Bathe, Chair of Trustees of Hollesley Village Hall Committee, thanked the council for supporting the Raise the Roof Project to replace the roof and install photovoltaic panels. She said: “The roof tiles are made from asbestos and fibre, and are over 50 years old. Sadly, Covid-19 and the lockdown prevented many fundraising activities from taking place, so this grant has enabled us to begin the work.

“We are also very pleased to be working in partnership with HMP Hollesley Bay. The contractor has a training arm and prisoners are able to work to obtain roof installation qualifications to enable them to secure a job on their release.”

A cheque presentation was held on Wednesday 19 January, attended by Cllr Mallinder and representatives from the Village Hall Committee.

The need for repairs was discovered during a survey of the roof and estimated to cost £60,000. Work is already under way and the Village Hall Committee hopes that the building will be back in use from the beginning of February. 

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