Published: March 5, 2011
In video and photos: New £340,000 Berrow Village Hall is opened

Berrow's new-look village hall was officially re-opened on Saturday (March 5th) following a major £340,000 refurbishment project.

Over 50 people attended a ceremony in which the new-look facilities were opened by Berrow Parish Council Chairman Jenny Bentley.

As first reported by last month, building work has recently been completed on the extended facilities, which include a bigger communal hall, new meeting room, hallway, kitchen and toilet facilities.

Villagers raised a massive £115,000 for the project over the course of 10 years and grants have been received from Sedgemoor District Council (£35,000), Somerset County Council (£33,000), Viridor Credits (£25,000) and Berrow Parish Council (£15,000), with the remainder of the money coming from a bank loan.

Berrow's Fei Lung Kwan kung fu group, which is based at the hall, performed a short demonstration and dragon display for the audience at the start of Saturday's ceremony before Mrs Bentley thanked the supporters and then cut a ribbon to open the hall.

She said: "We are thrilled with the new building, which is one of four projects completed during my time as Chairman. We are very grateful to all those who have given their support and finance over the past ten years."

Jane Moreton, Chairman of Sedgemoor District Council, told at Saturday's ceremony: "This is a fantastic community facility - it's incredible that a small village like this has raised so much towards it, which really shows the strength of the backing there is from local people."

Owen Davies, Treasurer of the Berrow Community Association, which oversaw the project, added: "We now have an additional main hall which is the same size as the original and the two can be opened up together to give a marvellous space for all sorts of functions such as parties, wedding receptions and dances."

"There is also a new meeting room, ideal for small clubs. The toilets and kitchen have been enlarged and renewed and the whole building internally decorated. The rooms are also available for ad hoc meetings and training sessions during the day, as well as for regular clubs."

Local councillors Bob Filmer and Alan Ham - who both worked to gain funding for the project - were also among those present at Saturday's event.

The popular hall is actively used by more than 20 groups, who have all temporarily been meeting elsewhere during the building work. The groups provide bowling, drama, gardening, bingo and music, and also include the Parish Council, U3A and the WI. To hire the hall, contact secretary, Moira Anderson, on 782512.

Our photos show Saturday's official opening of the new village hall


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