Wymondham Central Hall ready for grand reopening

A popular Wymondham venue has launched itself into the 21st century after an extensive year-long refurbishment.

Volunteers at Central Hall will be unveiling the building's new look at a grand re-opening tomorrow, followed by a public open morning on Saturday.

Prior to the works the hall, in Back Lane, had been left largely untouched since it was built in 1965. The construction of Wymondham's new modern library next door, which opened two years ago, also highlighted the venue's increasingly dilapidated state.

But since closing its doors last October, the hall's interior has undergone a major redecoration, a new reception area has been created, the kitchen and bar area have been revamped, toilets with disabled access have been installed, roof repairs have taken place, the exterior has gained new cladding and the building now boosts modern lighting, heating, ventilation and insulation systems, as well as solar panels and a ground source heat pump.

The scheme was designed and managed by local architect Terry Hickman Smith. It has cost more than �700,000, including about �500,000 which was secured through a bank loan which will be repaid with income generated from the hall's own car park.

Further funds have been supplied by South Norfolk Council, the Low Carbon Buildings Programme, the Community Sustainable Energy Programme, the Geoffrey Watling Charity, the Garfield Weston Foundation, Norfolk Rural Community Council and Wymondham Town Council.

The honour of cutting the red ribbon will be given to Leonard Breeze, who is the only remaining signatory of the hall's original Trust Deed.

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Brian Randall, chairman of the trustees, said: 'We have achieved what we set out to do - taken a rather tired and dilapidated building and made it fit for the 21st century.

'Everybody who has seen the new hall has been very excited by the result.'

Residents will have the opportunity to look around the hall, talk to the trustees and enjoy a coffee on Saturday, from 10am to 12.30pm. Volunteers also hope to set up a website in the new year where people will be able to see its transformation.

The venue boasts a large main hall with a stage, a smaller committee room and two dressing/meeting rooms, as well as a kitchen and bar.

Anyone interested in booking any of the facilities should call the hall's manager Mike Breame on 07717824171.