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£10k windfall secures historic West Dorset site’s future
A £10,000 Lottery grant has assured the future of Netherbury’s historic Reading Room.
Village hall committee spokesman Mike Morse said residents were delighted with the news.
He said: “It is fantastic news for the village hall committee and fantastic news for the community.
“The money will be used to renovate the Reading Room which is a landmark building of local interest next to the village hall.
“The village hall committee has taken on responsibility to renovate it because it is getting to the point now where it is quite dilapidated and if we don’t do something soon it is going to get some serious damage.”
The roof is being re-felted, there will be new windows and doors, the inside is being redecorated and there will be a new heating system.
Mr Morse added: “Once that is done not only will it conserve the building for the community it will be extending the village hall so we will be able to offer additional facilities and activities.”
The whole project will cost around £18,000 and the village has already raised £4,000 of its own – enough to start the project this month, said Mr Morse.
The committee has also applied to West Dorset District Council village hall fund and will hear if that is successful at the end of September.
The Reading Room is in the the map of 1835 and it been variously a girls’ schoolroom, a parish room, lending library, a men’s, youth and billiards club and an unofficial store room.
Netherbury’s award is one of 83 schemes in the south-west to benefit from Big Lottery Fund grants totalling £667,214.
The money is awarded under the Fund’s Award for All programme which gives small grants of up to £10,000 to projects.
Helen Bullough, Big Lottery Fund spokeswoman, said: “Awards for All funding helps people of all ages in so many ways. Each round of awards touches the lives of hundreds of communities in ways that benefit thousands of people.
“All kinds of projects to enhance and improve lives can be brought to life with help from the Big Lottery Fund.
“Anyone who has an idea for a community project should visit awardsforall.org.uk to see if a Big Lottery Fund grant could help to get their own idea off the ground. It could make a huge difference to the health, happiness and wellbeing of so many people.”
Community or not-for-profit groups parish or town councils, health bodies or schools can apply for grants ranging from £300 to £10,000 to fund a specific project or activity.