Village hall celebrates anniversary with funding for new roof

A village hall in West Auckland has been awarded a £30,000 grant for vital renovations.

Residents of West Auckland were marking a century of the Memorial Hall when they learnt that housing association believe housing had awarded the funding to replace the building’s roof and heating system.

Money will also go towards a series of events, such as youth activities during school holidays and community learning.

The foundation stones at West Auckland Memorial Hall were laid 100 years ago. The hall was built for the benefit of local people and to honour the area’s World War I fallen.

The original hall has been extended and renovated over the years and a new committee has recently overseen improvements including a new kitchen, toilets and garden.

Treasurer Sharon Proud said: “More work is needed to maintain the building, especially the roof which is like a sieve and the heating which lets us down regularly.

“The grant from believe housing is a massive boost, it gets us over the line with that work and makes it a sustainable venue where we can plan for the future and look forward to bringing in more people of all ages from the surrounding area.”

Joanne Norman, a Community Investment Coordinator at believe housing, said: “There is clearly a real determination from volunteers to not only keep the hall going but to see more happening there and to appeal to people of all ages, including children and families.

“There is a buzz about the place, and we’re delighted to support its ongoing improvement so it can continue to create opportunities for residents, including our customers, to be part of their community by attending activities or volunteering.”

The hall’s transformation has been helped with funding and donations from local people and businesses, West Auckland Parish Council, and the neighbourhood budgets of Durham County Councillors Rob Yorke and George Smith.

Cllr Smith, who is Chairman of West Auckland Memorial Hall, said: “We’re trying to re-energise the hall for the good of local people, it is their building so it would be great to see more using it.”