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Village halls win grant for a facelift
VILLAGE halls and community centres across Oxfordshire could get a new lease of life with the help of county council grants.
Later this month, the council is due to sign off on grants of almost £60,000 towards works costing £1.057m to refurbish 12 halls.
The funds are part of a wider drive to breathe new life into buildings in need of a facelift.
Among the venues in line for a grant is Drayton Village Hall, where committee members have asked for £6,356 towards a £19,068 project to replace an old kitchen.
Committee chairman Ann Webb, 70, who has been involved with the hall for almost 40 years, said: “Most of it is the original kitchen from when the hall first opened in 1975, and if you’d had a kitchen in your house for that long which had been used by so many people it would start to look a bit tired.”
She said the committee had applied to other sources of funding and had sought the help of the Oxfordshire Rural Community Council to raise cash.
She added: “I think it would make a huge difference. The hall is used a lot and the kitchen is a really important part of it.”
At Kirtlington Village Hall, residents have asked for £10,000 towards a £86,736 project to make the hall more environmentally friendly and save on heating. Committee chairman Brian Waterhouse said plans included solar panels, a new heating system and better insulation.
Mr Waterhouse, 79, said: “Our utility bill last year was £3,300.”
The grants are issued annually to buildings in urban and rural areas used by a wide range of local people. To qualify, the managing body of a hall must be a voluntary organisation representing users or a parish or town council in a community of less than 10,000people.