Village of Lyng, near Dereham, celebrates £20,000 boost to new community hall project

Lyng Village Hall. Picture: Ian Burt

Lyng Village Hall. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

An ambitious project to replace the village hall in Lyng has moved a step closer after Breckland Council awarded £20,000 towards the new build.

Lyng village hall

Lyng village hall - Credit: supplied

The village, near Dereham, is raising nearly £900,000 to replace its dilapidated hall with a new community meeting place for residents of all ages.

Breckland councillors backed a match funding bid from the hall's management committee which will help them towards their goal and explore and attract more funding avenues.

The new facility will provide a main hall, meeting room, foyer, kitchen and toilets. With features such as air source heating, low energy lighting and rainwater harvesting the design will ensure that running costs are kept to a minimum.

The local community has worked hard to raise almost £31,000 with more events planned, including a 'buy a brick' scheme.

Architect drawings of the proposed new Lyng Village Hall. Image: Charles Emberson Architect

Architect drawings of the proposed new Lyng Village Hall. Image: Charles Emberson Architect - Credit: Charles Emberson Architect

Lyng Parish Council provided a grant of £12,500, and the committee has also submitted an application to the BIG Lottery Reaching Communities (Buildings) programme.

Paul Claussen, Breckland Council's executive member for place, said: 'It is a priority for the council that we support and enable stronger and more independent communities, and we are delighted to support this ambitious project.

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'In an isolated village such as Lyng, the village hall plays a vital role in bringing the community together, helping reduce the feeling of isolation and providing a heart for the village.'

Three resident surveys have been carried out since 2008, and open meetings held, to get the views of local people. A focus group was also arranged to obtain the views of younger residents. The findings demonstrated a clear need for a new hall and the sorts of activities it should cater for.

Alan Chapman, head of fundraising, said: 'If our lottery grant is approved we will still have a funding shortfall and this grant from Breckland Council will go a long way towards reducing the amount still needed. It will make a significant difference.'

He added that if all the grant applications were successful they hoped to be able to start building the new hall this year.

To apply for grants contact the Norfolk Community Foundation on 01603 623958, email or visit the website.