Village facility to be revamped after grants joy
Villagers in East Cottingwith are set to get a revamped village hall that is fully accessible to all.
The renovations have been made possible thanks to a £44,000 grant from FCC Communities Foundation and a £12,000 grant from the Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund managed by ACRE on behalf of Defra.
The money will be used to provide wheelchair friendly access to the front and rear of the hall, modern toilets with disabled and baby changing facilities, and a new heating system, as well as general refurbishment and redecoration.
East Cottingwith Village Hall is a former Quaker Meeting House, later used as the village school, and was built in 1789. It overlooks the ings of the Lower Derwent Valley.
Sally Hobbs, chair of the Village Hall Trustees, believes the facility will make a huge difference to the people living in the area.
She is hoping the improved village hall will be ready to use by the end of March next year.
She said: “This project will provide a real boost to the people of East Cottingwith. It will ensure the Village Hall is accessible to all villagers and provides a modern, inclusive, community space.
“It’s fantastic that FCC Communities Foundation and ACRE have awarded us this money; we’re very grateful to them and we’re really looking forward to our improved village hall taking shape over the next six months.
“The building has played a central part in village life for over 230 years; this work will mean it can continue to do so.”
FCC Communities Foundation is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community projects through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Richard Smith, FCC Communities Foundation senior grant manager, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the village hall refurbishments and pleased our funding will make such a difference to the people of East Cottingwith.
“FCC Communities Foundation is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and we’re looking forward to this one having a positive impact very soon.”
ACRE added: “Village halls are vital in rural communities and offer safe spaces where people can come back together after the closures due to COVID-19.
“We are pleased to have been able to offer East Cottingwith Village Hall a grant towards much-needed improvements.”