Last-ditch funding appeal issued for £450,000 rebuild of village hall
An appeal has been issued in a bid to secure the final £50,000 needed to rebuild a dilapidated village hall.
A staggering £400,000 has already been raised to transform Ellingham Village Hall, including a six-figure sum pledged by The National Lottery
The committee thought the fund-raising target had been met but rising building costs mean a final push is now needed to get the project over the line.
And to secure the funds which have already been pledged, there is only a matter of weeks left to do it.
Chairman Gus MaCleod said: “The village has rallied round in an amazing way and we are staggered by people’ generosity, but it might be a case of ‘so close yet so far’.
“The local community has nothing to call its own. This is something we can be proud of, something to be the focal point of our changing community.
“We have so many elderly people in the parish, and this provides a social hub for them- but at the other end of the spectrum we will be able to restart a parent/toddler group- so it really will provide for all the generations.
“The current hall is best described as a corrugated hut. It is cold, it’s uncomfortable and the facilities are basic.
"It really is beyond repair. It’s a relic and totally unsuitable for a community in the 21st century.”
The aim is to build a hall which is warm and welcoming, has kitchen facilities, can host social and community events, is accessible to all and has parking and outdoor space.
Fund-raising had been carried out over the past two years to reach the £400,000 estimated costs.
Financial support has come from Ellingham Community Trust, Garfield Weston, Catherine Cookson, Bernard Sunley, The Joicey Trust, Sir James Knott, Runciman Charitable Trust, Barbour Foundation Trust, Northumberland county councillor, Rank Foundation (Pebbles Trust), Northumberland Estates, Tunnocks and Lord Crewe Charity.
But having gone out to tender, the builders’ quotes came back some way in excess of the original estimate. Post-Brexit supply issues, rising building costs and the effects of Covid-19 are all thought to have played a part.
Costs have been cut where possible, including a change to the design, but more funds still needed.