Final piece of hall upgrade puzzle in place

Cllr Steven Bridgett with Whittingham community members and school children at the newly resurfaced area.

Cllr Steven Bridgett with Whittingham community members and school children at the newly resurfaced area.

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The missing piece in an upgrade project at a north Northumberland village 
hall has finally been slotted 
in to place.

In 2008, Whittingham Memorial Institute was awarded a grant of £185,612 by the Big Lottery to upgrade its hall and while a host of work was completed, including a new kitchen, toilets, and double glazing, the venue’s car park was left in a state of disrepair.

The area is also used as a drop-off point for Whittingham First School pupils and was in dire need of resurfacing.

Now a £5,000 donation, from county councillor Steven Bridgett’s small schemes allowance, towards the £7,900 cost has brought it up to date.

Coun Bridgett was approached for help by village hall committee vice-chairman Ian Blakey and first school headteacher Belinda Foreman.

Coung Bridgett said: “The village hall is at the centre of every community and Whittingham is no different. The upgrade works of the last few years have given it a new lease of life and the car park was the final piece in the jigsaw.”

Mr Blakey said: “Everybody is delighted with the improvement to the car park and the committee would like to thank Coun Bridgett for his very generous donation. Our thanks also go to all those who helped finance the car park project, especially St Bartholomew’s Church School House Fund, Whittingham Parish Council and Lord Ravensworth. The village hall is now a vibrant facility in the heart of our community.”

Belinda said: “The car park now provides an attractive, safe entrance to our school.”

She also thanked families and governors, the county council and Coun Bridgett, as well as Canon Reverend Jim Robertson who secured funding from St Bartholomew’s Church School House Fund.