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Dennington has had a village hall since 1985. It was a great success and was a popular venue for many groups and events over the years. However, it was in need of some updates and it was decided to try to raise funds. After a substantial refurbishment process costing over £275,000 and the Hall was reopened in January 2019. The Hall is looking amazing and now has a state-of-the-art heating system, brilliant lighting, a massive picture window at the north end allowing natural light to stream in and a new floor, making the whole hall look amazing – available for stage productions (we have a portable stage), weddings, dinners, discos, concerts, wakes and sports functions of all types i.e. badminton, volley ball and children’s indoor football.
The 12 month period from March 21 – March 22 was perhaps akin to riding a rollercoaster as we tentatively moved out of lock-down to a less restrictive lifestyle. Clubs and Societies were able to utilise the Hall in a safe and secure way until we moved into a position towards the end of the year when restrictions eased in entirety. For this we are grateful that life can move forwards for the community, many of whom have felt isolated over the past 24 months.
I am delighted to say that now the Hall is back in full use and is busy most days with various clubs and organisations regularly using this valuable community space. We have established a strong reputation for a well functioning, well managed Hall attracting hirers from not only within Dennington but surrounding areas.
The current accounts for year ending 31st March are being prepared. The Hall remains in a strong position financially, largely due in part to the Covid Support Grants given over 2020/21.
Additional funds received :
- May 2021 £8,000 (noted in last years’ report) - February 2022 £2,667 Re-start Grant
However, we have a number of maintenance projects being looked at including new flooring, roofing projects and other improvements under discussion. We are also concerned about the increasing cost of utilities which will have an impact on our cost structure moving forward. We are, like so many keeping an eye on utility expenditure.
Roles and Responsibilities
A number of long-standing personnel have stepped down from their roles as Trustees, including Mrs Mary Mann and Mrs Anne Keyes. There support has been invaluable and for that we are grateful. However, this does leave us with vacancies to fill.
We continue to work as a group of Trustees to maintain and run the Hall efficiently and are pro-actively seeking ways to keep the Hall up to date and attractive to all. We are looking at new initiatives and community opportunities and welcome the use of the facilities for the forthcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations as well as the Village Fete, scheduled for July 31st. This was a huge success back in July 2021, managed by Vashit Mouncer, who is looking to repeat the event once more.
As ever, we could not operate without the efforts of the Trustees who give up their time and energy to support the management of the Hall for the Community. I would like to note thanks to each and every one of them for their endeavours.
Jo Cartwright Chair of Trustees