A VILLAGE hall is set to get a £450,000 upgrade after a massive fundraising campaign by residents.

The mammoth project will see the civic centre in Blewbury get all new floors, ceilings and doors, a new kitchen and toilets.

It will also get new low-energy LED lights to replace the outdated fluorescent strip lighting as well as a new heating system, ventilation and insulation.

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The changes aim to make the hall more environmentally-friendly and attract hundreds of new paying guests and users.

The money needed for the revamp was partly raised by residents of the village near Didcot, and partly came from grants from The National Lottery, Vale of White Horse District Council and the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE).

A major donation was also given by the FCC Communities Foundation, previously known as WREN, which gives out grants to community projects from a pot of money from landfill tax paid by waste disposal companies.

Villager Stephen White, who has led the refurbishment project, said the hall was 'vital' to the Blewbury community.

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He went on: "It is a post office, a doctors’ surgery, an extra facility for the school as well as a venue for wedding receptions, wakes, plays, sports and community groups.

“The hall must remain at the heart of our community for another 40 years at least, and the funding from FCC, the Lottery, other grant providers and generous donors will enable us to make it a hall fit for the 21st century.”

The refurbishment team is made up of volunteers from across the village who are all dedicated to seeing the 40-year-old hall updated so it can support the local community for future generations.

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They helped raise more than half the money for the revamp, with contributions coming from clubs, societies, fundraising events, collection boxes and individual donors.

The village sponsors and supporters include the Blewbury Badminton Club, Blewbury Post Office, Jeff and Pete’s Music Quiz and Blewbury Recreation Ground Appeal Fund as well as many more supporters from the village.

Residents have given time, skills, labour and money to make their hall more environmentally-friendly and more appealing for visitors.

The refurb team hired project managers Ridge and Partners of Woodstock in 2018 to oversee the upgrade and the MD Group of Bristol has been appointed to carry out the building works.

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Now the buildings works have finally got under way and the project is due to complete in June this year.

Richard Smith, grant manager for FCC Communities Foundation said his organisation was 'delighted' to be supporting the project.

He went on: "This project 'will greatly strengthen the Blewbury community and provide an excellent facility for the village for many years to come."

“FCC Communities Foundation is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that make a difference to local communities and we’re really looking forward to seeing this one take shape.”

For regular updates on the village hall project visit facebook.com/BlewburyVillageHallRefurb