Trustees excited at hall revamp plans

A POPULAR hall in Backwell is in desperate need of refurbishment.

Trustees of Backwell Parish Hall say the 101-year-old building needs bringing up to date.

The work will cost an estimated �63,000 and will be done in three stages.

The first phase will entail putting in a new fire exit and storage room, the second stage will include building a new toilet block with a larger disabled toilet, and the final stage will involve building a new kitchen and committee room.

Plans for the refurbishment will be on show at the parish hall next month to allow villagers to give their opinions.

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Sarah Ould, chairman of the parish hall trustees, said: “I think it is very exciting. The hall is 101 years old and if we want it to serve the people for the next 100 years it has to come into modern times. It needs to be structurally sound and serve the community’s new needs.”

The parish hall is owned by the village and trustees run the hall voluntarily.

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Once the plans have been finalised the trustees will be applying to funding bodies to try to raise the cash for the refurbishment.

A few smaller projects also need to be carried out before the refurbishment takes place.

The trustees have applied to Backwell Parish Council for a �4,000 grant to pay for replacement chairs, energy-efficient lighting and an architect’s report covering the refurbishment.

At Backwell Parish Council on Thursday, members agreed to put the application on the council’s wish list to be decided in January.

The new hall trustees have already been working to improve the building - the guttering was replaced earlier this year at a cost of �1,000. The tower is currently leaking so the roof also needs to be made water-tight and the trustees have asked for a quote for the work.

Mrs Ould said: “I think people will be pleased to see our aim is to do the best for the hall rather than just throw some more paint on the walls.

“We hope the whole village comes along to the presentation”

The refurbishment plans will be up in the hall on November 8 from 6-9pm, November 10 from 2-6pm, November 22 from 6-9pm and on November 24 from 9am-12pm.

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