Lottery funding to fix leaky roof is major boost for village hall

A village hall team is celebrating after receiving £10,000 in National Lottery Funding to help put a new flat roof on the building.

Pictured left, Gareth Danks, Nicki Craig, Linda and George Herbert from the Ashley Memorial Hall in Market Drayton
Pictured left, Gareth Danks, Nicki Craig, Linda and George Herbert from the Ashley Memorial Hall in Market Drayton

Ashley Village Hall near Market Drayton is a busy meeting place for the local communities from Ashley, Loggerheads and the surrounding villages and this new roof will ensure that the hall continues to thrive in the future.

The hall, which is a registered charity, has been operating since 1955 with a very small number of dedicated local volunteers.

Chairman of the management team, George Herbert, said: “With lockdown starting to relax, the local community tell us they can’t wait to get back to socialising and the hall is a great place for people to meet and has regular weekly activities including yoga, babies and toddler group, ballroom and sequence dance lessons, small dog training, indoor bowling, youth drama group, badminton and garden guild.

“In addition, the hall is used for children’s and family celebrations, weddings and christenings, social evenings and tea dances, events to support good causes, extra space for school productions – in fact anything that involves people getting together.

“We are extremely grateful for this funding from the Community Fund and our thanks to all players of the National Lottery. At our time of need with a badly leaking flat roof and concerns at the cost of replacement, the lottery and its players have come through for us.”

George added: “We’re delighted that The National Lottery has recognized our work for the community in this way and as we come out of lockdown we can get back to a more normal life with opportunities to see friends, enjoy activities together, learn new skills and resume contact in a 'real space'."

The roof is in desperate need of repair, and will cost around £15,000 which George said they couldn't fund themselves.

"It is a well used community centre and it gets quite a lot of use out of it," he explained. "The income from hire use and things goes to the day-to-day running.

"When we have a big issue like the roof leaking, we had to think how are we going to fund that ourselves. We just want to keep the hall running for as long as possible and because we are out in the sticks a bit, it's really a meeting place for people and a place where people can socialise."

George said they are also looking for any local people who would want to join the committee and help run the village hall.

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