Lottery boost for new village hall

Mareham le Fen Village Hall
Mareham le Fen Village Hall

Plans for a new £750.000 village hall in Mareham le Fen have moved a significant step closer - thanks to the Big Lottery.

Lottery officials have agreed funding of £52,145 for phase two of the long-awaited project.

The money will cover the cost of professional fees, including planning and legal matters.

However, campaigners are confident the Big Lottery will stump up an additional £500,000 towards the overall cost of the new hall.

That will still leave a shortfall of around £250,000 which villagers are hoping to raise themselves, or by securing grants from other sources including the county and district councils.

There is also the chance funding could be generated by the sale of the existing village hall site, subject to planning permission.

Graham Beacham, chairman of the village hall committee, said the initial lottery grant was a major boost.

He added: “We have held meetings with officials from the Big Lottery and all the indications are the full £500,000 will be forthcoming.

“Certainly, we are fairly confident.”

Mr Beacham admitted the present village hall was known locally as ‘the old tin hut.’

He added: “It was put up in 1919 and was a second hand Ministry of Defence building. It is rather dilapidated.”

A site had already been purchased for the new hall, along with full planning permission.

Provided the funding is in place, work could start in October.

Mr Beacham added: “It has taken a long time but there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Villagers have organised a variety of fundraisers, including an art exhibition and sale next month - and an open gardens event in June.