Village hall to be demolished and replaced after 65 years

A �330,000 project to demolish and rebuild a village hall between Norwich and Dereham will begin next month.

Weston Longville Village Hall was built in 1947 and has been a hub for community activities for people in Weston Longville, Morton-on-the-Hill and Attlebridge for 65 years, but is now badly run down and in need of replacement.

The new environmentally-friendly venue will be purpose built for the community, supporting a wide range of local events and activities.

This ambitious project will replace the current structure with a brand new building incorporating the latest building techniques and green technologies such as air source heating and PV panels.

There are plans to install a modular building which will act as a focal point for the local population, providing a sustainable community hall for all ages and activities, including sporting clubs, social groups, IT and facilities for young people.

The adjacent playing field will also be renovated and new sports equipment will be available for the community to use and enjoy.

Ruth Goodall, chairman of the Village Hall Project Group, said: 'In 1947 the trustees had the foresight to build a hall which helped to bind the community together.

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'We hope that the new hall will be just as effective in sustaining our three parishes for another 50 years.'

A total of �300,000 was awarded for the project through The Veolia Environmental Trust's Cre8 funding challenge, made through the Landfill Communities Fund, which sought projects that broke down barriers between generations and provided opportunities for volunteers.

Funding has also come from the Norfolk Rural Community Council, Broadland District Council, Weston Longville Parish Council, local businesses, private charities, individuals and local fund-raising.

As the current building's closure approaches, a 'Farewell to the Old Hall' event is taking place on March 25 at 2pm.

This will include a tea party, raffle and quiz. No tickets are necessary.

Professor Lord Lewis of Newnham, chairman of The Veolia Environmental Trust, said: 'This is a superb example of how a pro-active group of volunteers are spearheading a change that will benefit the whole community, and we wish them all success with the project.'

The last event to be held at the old hall will be hosted by Active Norfolk who are inviting all age groups to a village games road show on April 1.

Games taking place include archery, table tennis, short-mat bowls, new age curling, rounders and football.

All equipment will be provided and refreshments will be available all day.

For further details about this event, contact Ray Baker, telephone 01603 880164 or email raymonddbaker@btinternet.com

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