Grewelthorpe wins cash fund for centre

The Rev. David Richardson, Tim Stebbing, Bob Connor and Julie Stead-Connor with Martin Glynn outside the chapel. (1210083AM)
The Rev. David Richardson, Tim Stebbing, Bob Connor and Julie Stead-Connor with Martin Glynn outside the chapel. (1210083AM)

A village near Ripon is celebrating this week after being awarded a cash boost from the Big Lottery to build a new village hall and community centre.

Grewelthorpe boasts a popular pub, school and church along with many active clubs and societies, but residents said that the village was in desperate need of a community hall.

After months of hard work by the charity Grewelthorpe Village Hall and Community Centre Ltd, Grewelthorpe finally secured £440,000 of funding to convert a disused Methodist Chapel into a village hall and community centre – one of the first projects in Yorkshire to win cash from the Big Lottery Fund.

Martin Glynn, a charity trustee, said: “People in the village are really looking forward to when it opens.

“It’s not just about creating a building. It’s about developing a function where people can meet and thrive. We want not just a village hall but also a service.”

The Big Lottery funding will be supplemented by additional funds from the Methodist Church and local fundraising events.

The village hall charity team is now putting the finishing touches to the new centre, complete with two storeys of toilets, kitchens and a community cafe in the style of the original Victorian chapel.

Mr Glynn, 49, who has been volunteering for the charity for two years, said the Big Lottery Fund was particularly interested in the idea for a community cafe at the hall, where local producers and businesses could sell their goods and residents could receive training in a variety of skills.

“It was this determination to make the centre not just a village hall but a stimulus for rejuvenated village life which is believed to have set the proposal apart from many other schemes. Another of the elements of the proposal which helped to obtain the funding is that it is truly inter-generational and provides benefits for people at every life stage.”

The charity will now hold coffee mornings and sheep trail events to help boost funding.