West Dereham Sign Gary Trouton

West Dereham Village hall

March 2012

At last, West Dereham has a Village Hall it can be proud of! It has taken many years to reach this stage and would not have been possible without the help of so many people, some of whom are here tonight.

Initially a project was started over ten years ago by The Millennium Project who had plans to purchase the old village school and turn it into a Community Centre. Unfortunately, after a very successful start and a great deal of hard work, it became clear that the struggle for funding was proving too great and with two public buildings in the village no major grant funding was available. Eventually the hard decision to sell the old school was made. However, this raised a considerable sum which was to be spent on improving the existing village hall, as well as financing other community projects.

The Village Trust (formerly the Millennium Project) worked together with the Village Hall Committee and Parish Council in a combined effort to provide the best possible hall for the village. Plans were drawn up and the aim was to provide new lavatory facilities, a new roof, improved heating, a bar and second reception room, Heritage room, a new kitchen and to also comply with accessible legislation. The final project was to cost in the region of quarter of a million pounds — quite a challenge.

Committee members faced the daunting task of applying for grants. Anyone who has been involved in this will understand the magnitude of the effort required, especially given the present economic climate. Hopes were high but realistically it was thought that the work would have to be completed in two phases.

However, hard work and perseverance were rewarded with a major grant from WREN (donated by the Waste Recycling Group-under the Landfill Communities Fund Scheme) of

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