Lottery funding boost for coastal community venue

Beadnell WI hut.
Beadnell WI hut.

Progress is being made on a scheme to replace a vital community venue in a Northumberland seaside village, after plans received a funding boost.

In August last year, the Gazette reported that during routine repair work to Beadnell WI Hut, deterioration of the frame of the building was found, which isn’t repairable.

The Institute took professional advice and the verdict was that it has to come down and be rebuilt, although it was said that the building was safe and secure for the time being and should be okay for about two years.

Now, plans to replace the well-used hall have made progress in the right direction with the award of £6,500 for a feasibility study from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards For All scheme.

The Hut, as it is known in the village, was built in 1925 and, when the building was first ‘condemned’, Institute president Lynne Angus said the rebuild offers a chance to get what’s required.

“It’s a great opportunity to get something in the village that meets the needs of this century, thinking that the current hall is appropriate for the past century,” she said.

“The WI, which owns the hall and the land, is keen that it looks much the same outside, because there are very few traditional WI halls left in Northumberland and in the country, but we can be quite creative with the space inside.”