Second try lands £50,000 windfall for Mechanics’ Institute at Denholme

Keighley News: Pictured at Denholme Mechanics' Hall are, from the left, back, Peter Foster and Denholme Town Mayor Steve Nunn, and, front, Jean Martin, Margaret Pickles and Betty Haigh Pictured at Denholme Mechanics' Hall are, from the left, back, Peter Foster and Denholme Town Mayor Steve Nunn, and, front, Jean Martin, Margaret Pickles and Betty Haigh

A refurbished and energy-saving function room will soon grace the Mechanics’ Institute at Denholme, which has just won a £50,000 improvement grant.

Delighted Peter Foster, chairman of Denholme Community Association, led the bid for cash from WREN – the body which distributes money to good causes from the Landfill Communities Fund.

And this week retired business expert Mr Foster told how it had taken two attempts to secure the grant, to be spent on modernising the room and making it more energy-efficient.

“We will lower the ceiling, which will be insulated to keep in heat, double glaze all the windows and replace the old radiators with much more efficient heating which will give significant energy savings,” said Mr Foster, who has lived in the village for 13 years.

“We will be creating more space by removing raised seating around the walls and also putting in a new door for disabled access to a ramp outside.

“This was our second attempt to get the funding and we were very lucky that WREN was prepared to give us a second go.”

He said the idea was to create a modern room which could be used by all local groups, including young people, as a venue for classes, entertainment and social events.

“We already host barn dances, quizzes and have a popular cinema night. The hope is to do much more,” he said.

Other improvements include creating a disabled toilet and fitting out a new catering kitchen with a service hatch to the function room.

Denholme has the highest concentration of elderly people anywhere in the Bradford district and members of the village’s Elders Network were at the Mechanics’ for their regular Monday morning session.

“Sometimes it can be like a fridge in here until the heating gets going, so this is great news,” said Network treasurer Jean Martin.

“Meeting here is a great asset for elderly people who otherwise might only see the postman. We have all sorts going on.

“But it’s not just for the elderly. The toddlers’ group meets here too so it has something for everyone in Denholme.”

Mayor Steve Nunn praised Mr Foster for securing the grant.

“Because the building is owned by Bradford Council it’s hard to get other funding and so we are extremely grateful to WREN,” Mr Nunn said.

“In the current financial climate, buildings like this are going to come under threat and so we need to prove its value and that it is needed by the whole village.

“We know there are groups out there who will use this building every day and evening of the week.”

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