Holbeach Hurn Village Hall has received a new lease of life thanks to grant funding from Awards for All, Lincolnshire County Council, South Holland District Council and WREN the Landfill Communities Fund of Waste Recycling Group Ltd, distributed by environmental body WREN.
The improvements represent a major turnaround in the fortunes of a hall; originally built as a School in 1872 it became the village hall in 1978 but by 2005 was little used and threatened with closure. The village hall committee and volunteers from the village have worked hard since then to carry out minor improvements but were still well aware that the hall was falling short of what was required. It did not meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act, the kitchen was unsatisfactory for food hygiene regulations and there was a question mark over the extension which was formally used a youth club.
Most of all, however, the committee were aware that people's expectations had moved on - a cold, draughty unwelcoming building was no longer acceptable and local residents had seen other communities getting funding for new halls or for vastly improving their existing buildings.
Thoughts turned to what could be achieved and following a public meeting in November 2006 all the residents present supported the committee’s recommendation that to buy the hall from the Diocese of Lincoln and begin a gradual refurbishment programme was the way forward for a small rural community such as Holbeach Hurn. A combined grant of £16,666 from Lincolnshire County Council and South Holland District Council plus successful fund raising allowed the committee to complete the purchase of the building in April 2008. Since then the committee have been actively fund raising and following the award of grants from the funder’s mentioned the first stage of refurbishment is now completed
The work, which was carried out by local builders Fenbank, brings the hall right up to a standard that complies with all statutory requirements.
Part of the refurbishment was to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act and reducing energy consumption, therefore, the main hall has undergone full insulation of the roof, new double glazed windows and additional heating installed. The derilict youth club room has been totally transformed into a meeting room with disabled access and toilet facilities. The toddler Group Room has had a makeover with new heating, windows and flooring. The Men's and Ladies' toilets have been modernised. The kitchen has been refurbished and has been fitted with a commerical dishwasher, double oven with 5 ring hob, and fridge freezer, making catering for events much easier and more efficient.
"The hall now offers first class facilities plus a smaller room for meetings.