Yarlington Village Hall, the focus for community events and activities since 1921, has reopened after an £89,000 project to give it a new lease of life.
The Countess and Count de Salis who own Yarlington House officially opened the hall.
Work to transform the valuable and well-used facility on Queen Street started last year.
It has replaced the building’s west wall and its timberwork, several rotting skirting boards and the floor. New windows and a damp course have been installed, and the walls drylined, replastered and redecorated.
The building has been rewired and a new heating system installed. Access for wheelchair users, people with disabilities and limited mobility, and parents with prams has also been created. Finally, the hall’s outside area remains to be landscaped and resurfaced.
Yarlington Village Hall Management Committee led the project and funds came from their reserves and Viridor Credits Environmental Company and The Veolia Environmental Trust, who awarded £39,237 and £16,000 respectively through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Other funds came from South Somerset District Council, (£10,684), Awards for All (£8,365), The Garfield Weston Foundation, (£5,000) and the Co-Operative Community Fund (£1,000).
A wide range of groups use the hall for activities and events, including the Yarlington Fringe Arts Festival. It is also used for meetings, parties and other private functions. In recent years its poor state had affected users’ comfort and safety and these improvements were urgently needed if it was going to be in use for another 92 years.
There was overwhelming support from villagers for the work. The management committee consulted widely to ensure the project will bring maximum benefits. This was demonstrated by the huge positive response to two village surveys held to determine the hall’s future.
Speaking about re-opening of the improved hall, one of the committee members supervising the project, Andrew Keeley, says, “These improvements will really boost life in Yarlington. The improved hall can now provide residents of all ages with a warm, communal facility suitable for leisure, educational and support activities, as well as meetings, events and parties.
“There is no public transport to our village, apart from a weekly bus to Yeovil, and our revamped hall will bring the community together and enable people to meet up to enjoy events, learn new skills, have fun and make new friends.”