Diggers prepare ground for new village hall
DIGGERS are moving on to the site of what will next year become the new home of Hartpury Village Hall.
Villagers who are eagerly anticipating its unveiling in June next year have seen the project come one step closer this week after construction workers descended on the site at Over Old Road.
There will be a bigger community hall, more car parking and a play area, which will be a first for the village.
The site is adjacent to the village school and will share some of the car parking facilities.
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Ken Jollans, chairman of Hartpury Village Hall, said: "The old hall was too small and the car parking had become a bit of a nightmare. This new hall will be just what the village needs. It's bigger and will be better equipped.
"It has taken so long to get to this stage but we are here which is great news.
"You cannot underestimate the importance of a village hall. It brings the community together in a way that wouldn't otherwise be possible."
Kilbury Construction has been awarded the contract to build the new facility.
While work is under way, groups are using the school hall and church facilities in the area for their meetings.
The old village hall has now been closed and the site has been sold for redevelopment to help fund the construction of the new hall, which is to cost around £650,000.
Further funding has been provided by a long-running local fundraising campaign and the support of a number of grant bodies, including Forest of Dean Local Action and the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust, funded with landfill tax contributions donated by Cory Environmental.
The new children's play area has been funded through the Community Spaces programme, which is part of the Big Lottery Fund's Changing Spaces initiative.