A community facility has been given a new lease of life with a £100,000 face-lift.

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The people of Beetley, near Dereham, came together this weekend to celebrate the official reopening of their village hall.

The scheme, which got under way a year ago, has seen the venue provided with improved facilities, a new disabled toilet, an updated kitchen, better insulation, and refurbished flooring. Two new storage rooms have also been created.

As part of the project, the heating oil tank has been moved inside the hall as the oil had previously been targeted by thieves and there are new entrance doors.

It is hoped the new, improved facility will be a “tremendous” asset to the community.

June Overall, secretary of the Beetley Village Hall committee, said: “It was run down before and our main problem was the cost of heating and theft of oil.

“We have managed to address those two problems and the hall is now a lot warmer. It’s a lovely size for a community building, not too big and not too small. It was a shame it was becoming more aged but now it’s been given a new lease of life and hopefully people will value it.”

The hall, which is used by a range of groups including art clubs, friends and neighbours groups, football and cricket clubs and whist drives, was formally reopened by Bill Barker, a former chairman of the old village hall committee.

People were then given the chance to look around the refurbished hall, which is available for hire for functions and birthday parties.

The project benefitted from a £99,212 grant from Norfolk County Council as part of the authority’s Community Construction Fund. A villager also bequeathed money to the scheme and the village hall committee raised funds.

Mrs Overall said they have been able to use the hall since November but now the hall was fully complete, they wanted to celebrate with the community and give people the chance to take a look at the facility.

Mark Kiddle-Morris, Norfolk County Council councillor for Beetley, who sponsored their grant bid, said it was a “wonderful” project.

He said: “It’s been a really good scheme and with the new kitchen facilities and the refurbishment, it looks lovely and should attract more visitors. I’ve been very happy to have been involved.”

The work was carried out by RW Duffield, Russ Clements and Anglian Insulations.

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