Villagers flock to see what £1.1m buys them when it comes to a new community hub - and they are delighted with the outcome
- Credit: Archant
The residents of Marshland St James have finally got to see what £1.1million buys you when you are looking for a new community hall.
The hall is officially up and running following an open week showcasing the facilities to the public and current and future stakeholders, bringing a much needed boost to the official opening in the late spring.
Marshland Hall opened its doors on Monday and showed off the long awaited facilities on offer.
The tour day was the culmination of five years work by trustees, committee and volunteers obtaining a major grant of £703,000 from the Big Lottery (Reaching Communities) and further grants and donations for the £1.1m build.
The newly built centre offers large open community space in the main hall, meeting room and changing rooms.
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A grant of £37,331 awarded by WREN’s FCC Community Action Fund was used to buy the catering kitchen, tables and chairs, hand dryers and Audio visual equipment.
Centre Manager, James Bamfield, is delighted that the long awaited project is now in use.
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He said: “This vital facility is going to make a real difference to those who use it, as well as the wider Marshland St James and District community. We are extremely grateful to WREN for providing funding as we would not have been able to go ahead without its support.”
WREN is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for community, conservation and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Penny Horne, WREN grant manager said, “It’s wonderful to see something we have funded finally open and ready to make such a difference to the lives of so many people in Marshland St James and the surrounding neighbourhoods.
“WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and this is a great example of what can be achieved.”
Last Friday a well attended quiz night launched the first ever main successful fundraising event at the hall.
Monday’s opening saw almost 300 eager locals through the doors and they were able to walk around the building and view all the facilities on offer. The hall came alive as children were entertained in the afternoon by Rollo and parents were able to enjoy the new modern venue.
The trustees of the hall say feedback was very positive: “wonderful spaces and light”, “great for functions”, “fantastic kitchen”, “super changing rooms for the football teams”.
“The response to the new facility was overwhelming and everyone welcomed a new era for Marshland St James and the district,” said a spokesman.
There is a full events programme through the week: an afternoon tea in the main hall, farmers market, Kings Lynn Astronomy and a table top sale.
Sports taster sessions include Samurai Karate and archery with Marshland Archers, who are now based at Marshland Hall.
Here’s what you can expect inside the million pound build.
Marshland Hall will feature a cinema screen, sports facilities and meeting rooms.
The high ceilings and two light reception rooms will provide a wealth of space for community activities, classes, indoor sports, events and entertainment.
Set adjacent to the children’s playground and on the edge of the large village playing field, the hall is presented in a great location with a landscaped community garden and to complete the package, shop and cafe too.”
The spokesman added: “The café is to be a much needed social hub and the trustees are proposing to invite business proposals from interested entrepreneurs and interested parties wishing to lease this exciting new space in the Marshland Hall for the purpose.”
The main hall will seat 185 people and is said to be large enough for a wedding reception or party venue.
The second – slightly smaller hall – will seat 40 people and could be used by smaller community groups or for training sessions.
Sports Changing Rooms, approved to English FA standards, fitted with showers have also been included in the build and a bar area and shop will be developed too.
Marshland Hall was built by Kings Lynn construction company, Walker Construction Services Ltd with the final design by Swann Edwards Architecture.
To take part or to hire the facilities at The Marshland Hall, visit: www.marshlandhall.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.