Lottery boost for Keswick village hall

A village near Norwich is celebrating after receiving lottery funding to fix the roof of a vital community facility.

Users of the Reading Room at Keswick have spoken of their delight after the future of the hall was secured with a �10,000 grant from the National Lottery's Awards for All scheme.

The funding has been used to re-roof the village hall, which was suffering from serious structural problems, and to renovate the building.

The Reading Room, which dates back to the 1860s, currently hosts a variety of sporting, social and leisure activities for residents of the small village, which has a population of just over 400.

Margaret Riches, organiser of the mothers' and toddlers' music group said the funding had saved the only meeting place in Keswick.

'The Reading Room is a unique facility which gives mothers a precious opportunity to meet and socialise and for the children to be given an early opportunity to acquire some basic social skills. The loss of the Reading Room would have been a huge blow to the village,' she said.

John Hobday, conductor of the U3A singers who rehearse at the Reading Room every Thursday morning, added: 'The recent refurbishment of the roof, sponsored by the National Lottery, now means that the venue feels completely dry, and is even more cosy and comfortable to use, offering excellent facilities.'

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The work follows a successful application by Keswick and Intwood Parish Council. The facility also hosts a regular table tennis club and language classes.