A VILLAGE hall which was once at risk of closure is now at the centre of a renovation project thanks to a cash boost from the National Lottery Community Fund.

Corsenside Parish Hall has been awarded a £42,000 share of £420,000 awarded to the Northumberland Village Halls project led by Community Action Northumberland.

The grant is one of 11 awards made available to upgrade village halls across the county.

Grant funding of £15,000 has meant vital improvements have already been made to Corsenside Parish Hall, including essential repairs to the floor and under-floor ventilation, replacement of decayed windows with double-glazed units, roof repairs, replacement external doors, installation of a wheelchair accessible ramp, upgrading internal access doors and the installation of a new cooker.

The lottery grant will enable further work to take place, including renovation of the toilets, due to start in May, with the rest of the project expected to be start in the summer if further grants are available.

Richard Virden, treasurer of the parish hall near West Woodburn, said: “The funding just awarded has come as a hugely welcome boost to our efforts to make the hall fit for purpose, starting from a low point in 2016 when the building was under threat of permanent closure.”

Parishioners who feared for the future of the building launched an appeal to bring it up to date.

John Clyde, chairman of Corsenside Parish Hall, said: “Our hall had not had any improvements since the 90s so it’s long overdue. The hall is an essential community asset that is nowadays used by the council and for community events. I would like to thank everyone in the community who has supported us in our plans and ambition for the halls future.”

Richard added: “For Corsenside, this is a major part of the total cost of improvements to be completed by February 2020, comprising of upgraded toilets, to include an accessible toilet; insulation of walls and roof space, a kitchen upgrade and electrical improvements.”

Grants from Northumberland County Council, Northumberland National Park Authority, Sir James Knott Trust, and the Green Rigg Windfarm Community Benefit Fund and Vattenfall Ray Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund – both administered by the Community Foundation – have also helped fund the improvements.