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Village hall refurbishment has 'changed the consciousness' of Dennington

PUBLISHED: 05:30 23 February 2019

The hall has a new floor and ceiling Picture: JAMES MABERLY

The hall has a new floor and ceiling Picture: JAMES MABERLY

Archant

After seven years of planning and hard work, residents in an east Suffolk village are celebrating the successful renovation of their village hall.

The car park has undergone major changes Picture: JAMES MABERLYThe car park has undergone major changes Picture: JAMES MABERLY

Villagers spent four years accumulating the necessary funds to completely transform Dennington Village Hall, near Framlingham.

It has cost £270,000, to carry out the changes at the hall. Of this money, £148,000 came from the Community Fund funding, £11,000 came from the donations of villagers and the rest of the money came from a number of funding applications prepared by the project’s team.

Among the changes to the new hall are a hung ceiling, lighting system and a new floor covering.

Many of the changes came as a result of a survey sent out to the village to find out what should be changed.

Extensive work has been carried out on the toilets Picture: JAMES MABERLYExtensive work has been carried out on the toilets Picture: JAMES MABERLY

The survey identified a need to improve the heating and make updates to the ladies toilets.

“It’s fantastic,” said James Maberly, the village hall’s chairman, “it’s been a pretty hard slog to get it where it is.

“It’s completely transformed. Keir Wyatt, who has been in charge of the practical aspects, has done a truly amazing job.”

As well as changes to the hall itself the hall’s bar has also been refurbished.

The toilets have been refurbished Picture: JAMES MABERLYThe toilets have been refurbished Picture: JAMES MABERLY

“From a sports point of view people can sit with a drink and watch the sports so it works as a pavilion,” said Mr Maberly.

For those who had been involved in the project it’s not only the physical changes that have taken place at the hall that are important, it’s the “change of consciousness” that has taken place in Dennington as well.

“It was such a big risk and we have gone on and done it and with it has come a whole new enthusiasm in the village,” said Mr Maberly, “and we have got new clubs in the hall as a consequence.

“The whole thing has created its own energy and a buzz about the place.”

Access to the hall has also been improved Picture: JAMES MABERLYAccess to the hall has also been improved Picture: JAMES MABERLY

There are a few areas still to finish including the purchase of a new cinema and sound system as well as new tables, chairs and blinds but other than that the hall is now complete.

The newly refurbished Dennington Village Hall will be officially opened on March 1 by county councillor Stephen Burroughes, a student from Dennington School and Susan Warren, a resident who helped to open the-then new hall aged 11.

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