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Cowling village hall set to open - at last
Cowling’s long-awaited new village hall is set to open.
It is expected to start taking bookings from the first week in November.
And an official opening of the hall, in Acre Road, is likely to follow later that month.
Several village groups are expected to move into the building, which has cost around £170,000 to complete.
Facilities will include a large room suitable for sports and functions, a kitchen, two meeting rooms and a cafe area.
The playgroup will also have a dedicated room with its own toddler toilets and an outdoor soft play area.
David Rowe, co-chairman of the village hall committee, said the hall would be “belting good”.
He said: “We’re doing everything to a really good specification. It is a heck of a venue for a village hall – it will be the pride of the region.
“To be honest we’re fairly chuffed.”
Steeton Male Voice Choir will perform a concert next Saturday, October 6, in aid of the hall's development fund.
When the concert was booked around 12 months ago the hope was that it would be the inaugural event in the new hall.
The performance was moved to nearby Holy Trinity Church when organisers realised the date would be missed by a few weeks. The long-running saga of the village hall began in 2007 when Skipton Properties agreed to build it as part of permission to construct 31 new houses on the old Acre Mill site in Cowling.
The company built only the exterior, and in 2010 Craven Council's planning committee agreed that the building could be handed to the village unfinished.
Ownership of the building was handed to Cowling Village Hall management committee last year, and members began looking in earnest for funding.
Mr Rowe said the projected cost of completing the building had been £340,000, so he and co-chairman Glen Salt took on the project management themselves, cutting the cost by about half.
Most of the funding has come from selling Cowling's old village hall, with a further £20,000 from the parish council, £9,500 from the the Lottery Fund and the rest from local fundraising.
Mr Rowe said the concrete floor had been completed and underfloor heating fitted, and tradespeople are now working on the interior of the building.
He said: “We would anticipate the playgroup will come in as soon as they can.
“We expect a number of village groups will come to us that were previously in the old village hall.”
Steeton Male Voice Choir’s October 6 concert is at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £7 from (01535) 637435.