PLANS to build a new village hall in Cullingworth are moving forward with a raft of grant bids.

Villagers hope to raise up to £500,000 to construct the purpose-built hall next to the medical centre.

The long-awaited building will replace the existing four-decade-old wooden village hall in Station Road.

The plan is that the grants will be supported by the proceeds of regular events organised by the volunteer project team, and the existing hall committee’s reserves.

Social and fundraising events are being held in the Station Road hall on the last Saturday of every month.

The next one, on July 26 from 2-4pm, will have a bric-a-brac stall and tombola.

Plans to build a new committee centre in Lodge Street were revealed last year by the existing hall’s management committee.

They said the village hall, which is heavily used by local groups including Cullingworth Amateurs, was nearing the end of its life.

The wooden building has been in the village since the 1970s after it was moved piece by piece from the Keighley, where it had been the Salvation Army’s local headquarters.

The committee formed a sub-group, entitled the Cullingworth Village Hall Renewal Committee, to consult residents, draw up plans embark on fundraising.

Deputy chairman Kathryn Toledano said fundraising was going well, but the monthly events were also about raising awareness.

She said: “It’s about continuing to get the message out, getting more people involved with the village hall.

“We have plans to offer a greater range of activities. We want to be the venue of choice for people in Bingley Rural.”

Kathryn said the existing hall was in use every weekday, particularly by the village pre-school, so the new building would be bigger and more adaptable.

She said: “The pre-school will get its own space, which frees up the main hall to offer more in the day time. We want a small hole too.

“We have a very detailed specifications – it was important to get that right. We’ve been talking to lots of groups, and when we did a survey throughout the village. More than 400 people gave us feedback.

“We’ve met students Parkside School. We want young people to as get involved with the grant bid and as volunteers at the village hall.”

Kathryn said the first grant application had been submitted to a major funding body, and others would follow.