Published: January 17, 2009
Talks with insurance company underway after ceiling collapses at hall

Bosses at Highbridge's Morland Community Hall are in talks with their insurance company about compensation after the ceiling broke through in one area, causing an estimated £4,000 of damage.

The hall has been closed in recent days due to the accident, which means Burnham and Highbridge Stroke Club, Highbridge Youth Club, the community cafe and the Active Living Days groups have been unable to meet.

The hall's chairman, Richard Matthews, told "The hall's cleaner found the damage one morning last week and was faced with a complete ceiling collapse above the disabled toilets. Water was pouring in through the roof."

"We are discussing the matter with our insurance company, but in the meantime we are appealing for help."

One of the hall's committee, Pat Farrow, showed the damage this week, as pictured above, and added: "The ceiling is in a terrible state - it's such a sad sight."

Sue Quatermass of the Burnham and Highbridge Regeneration group, told "The Morland hall has been a main focus in Highbridge for our community development project to develop use of the facility over the past two years."

"Community buildings are precious spaces and it is important that we take care of them."

"Many are allowed to fall into a bad state of repair because committees struggle to survive and do not have access to financial resources to invest in their facilities for the future. We need to reopen the hall as soon as possible."

"Due to bad weather and the cold, many people are isolated at this time of year, and the community cafe provided a wonderful warm space for local people of all ages to meet and spend quality time together."

"We would also like to create a lunch club for older people at the hall in the coming months, and have recently supported an application for funding to create health and well-being classes at the hall for young parents."

She added that a bingo event is set to be held in aid of the hall in the coming weeks, and said donations of prizes can be dropped in at the Regeneration Partnership office at the back of Alpha House in Highbridge.

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