Belford school emerges as front runner in search for community meeting place
Talks have been held over the potential use of Belford Primary School as a venue for community events.
The closure of the middle school, URC Church and Ferguson Hall, together with the loss of the Community Club, has left the village without a large meeting place.
Representatives from the Belford Village Hall Group met with head teacher Lorna Rainey and governors to discuss the possible use of the school.
Coun Julian Cunningham, addressing Belford Parish Council, said: “We haven’t got a community hall so we met to talk about how we could utilise some of their space, at least in the interim while we look options for at longer term space.
“It’s a fantastic school hall and a really good space but at the moment we’re just looking at the feasibility of it.
“We discussed the practical steps needed to safeguard the school in terms of access to children’s areas by putting in some access from a different part of the building and shutting off other areas.
“We’re going to have a look at some of the things that have been suggested and get some quotes for the work that might be involved.
“There’s been no final agreement yet but, if it’s done, it would involve the minimum amount needed so it could be used by the people of the village.
“It was a productive meeting and the head teacher is keen to make sure that the school is community facing by offering amenities to the village.”
In the meantime, the Belford Village Hall Group will continue to gather evidence to try and convince potential funders that a new village hall is needed.
“We’re still looking at longer term options as and when other properties come up,” he said.
Parish council chairman Guy Renner-Thompson said: “It sounds like it’s all going in the right direction.”
Belford Village Hall Group has previously expressed concern at the lack of a large community space in the village and the detrimental impact it is having.
It is also keen to ensure any new venue would not negatively impacting on well-established activities that already take place at the Bell View Resource Centre.