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Cononley Village hall’s £95K refurb
3:00pm Sunday 13th October 2013 in News
Cononley Village Institute is poised for a grand reopening on Saturday following a £95,000 refurb.
The work, which started at end of July, has transformed the 104-year-old institute.
It has included improved disabled access, new toilet facilities, an acoustic ceiling for the hall, a larger back room and a new kitchen.
“It all looks so new,” said Cononley Parish Council chairman Councillor Lois Brown. “It’s been a massive project and the work has made such a difference. The old stalwarts and new people have been blown away by the difference.”
More than a third of the £95,000 cost was raised by fundraising in the village, including the annual scarecrow festival, with the remainder coming from grants.
Richard Woolf, a member of the institute’s management committee, said the improved facilities will allow the institute to extend its use for activities, meetings and public and private events.
A full programme of community events is planned, with a music marathon on November 9 and an arts and craft fair on December 1.
Institute users Stepping Stones nursery have already moved back in, and the annual Cononley Beer Festival was held last weekend.
“The institute, founded in 1909, has a long history of providing a focus for the community,” said Mr Woolf. “It is not only Cononley’s village hall, but also its war memorial.”
Saturday’s events will feature an open afternoon from 2pm to 5pm, with refreshments and live piano music by Cononley Singers’ resident accompanist, Damian Oxborough.
The official opening ceremony will be held at 4.30pm, and will be carried out by one of the oldest residents of Cononley, Ellen Kingsbury, who has lived in the village all her life, as well as two of its youngest residents – three-month-old Violet Long Guest and four-month-old Marcus Gibbons.
Coun Brown said: “We thought about having a celebrity or an MP open it, but this project is one for the village because the building will benefit people from the youngest to the oldest.”
A dinner-dance will take place from 7.30pm to 11.30pm. The ticketed event includes a hot Cononley cassoulet, live piano music from Jasper Minton-Taylor and a disco. Tickets, costing £7.50, are on sale at the Cononley Post Office.