New Community Hall opens

A FENLAND village that rose to a national landfill operators challenge to win £250,000, will be officially opening the doors to its brand new community hall on Saturday at 4.30pm. Baroness Gillian Shephard, a former Government minister and MP for West Nor

A FENLAND village that rose to a national landfill operators challenge to win £250,000, will be officially opening the doors to its brand new community hall on Saturday at 4.30pm.

Baroness Gillian Shephard, a former Government minister and MP for West Norfolk, will be conducting the opening ceremony at the venue, funded by prize money from the 2004 Waste Recycling Group Village Hall and Community Centre Challenge.

Outwell was a joint winner together with Branston Booths in Lincolnshire. Both villages were awarded £250,000 each to build new facilities for their local community.

Outwell, with a population of over 2,500 has had no community meeting place for decades. The Rt Hon Baroness Shephard has early connections with this project as she assisted in the purchase of the land for recreational use, whilst at Norfolk County Council in 1966.


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One of the masterminds behind the new hall project is local policeman Paul Chapman, who also serves on the Outwell Playing Fields Committee.

He said: "Everyone in the village and surrounding area has been looking forward to this day for a long time.

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"It's the realisation of a dream and will add more facilities, resources and vibrancy to our local community. We are grateful to WRG and WREN for giving us this opportunity through the challenge and also to the many volunteers in the village who have contributed towards our efforts and eventual success."

"It has been a long hard road with lots of obstacles, but we can now present Outwell as an example to other communities looking to create, develop or improve new facilities," added Paul..

Baroness Shephard said: "I have had a long association with community efforts in Outwell and helped get this same playing field for the village 40 years ago. It will be a particular pleasure to be involved in this success story.

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