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New village hall opens its doors in celebration

[Wednesday 15 August 2007]
wensley village hall
Wensley Village Hall

FOLLOWING a period of inclement weather in the Yorkshire Dales the sun shone in Wensley just in time for the opening of their brand new Village Hall.

For fifty years Wensley had been without a village hall in which to hold their group meetings, children's parties and club activities. So a committee formed, originally comprising of members of the ladies village darts team and they looked into how they could find the funding for the new hall.

Jennie White explained, "We were so enthusiastic about the project and had been donated the land by Lord Bolton, but didn't know how we would find the money to build the hall. We always wanted a Yorkshire-style cricket pavilion building. However, some way down the line we met with a few problems and almost gave up."

Jennie admitted that there were times when they found the process so difficult that they reached low ebb, but then they started to receive donations from generous local groups and individuals including the Leyburn Food and Drink Festival and shortly after that they were informed that their grant applications from two big funders were successful.

They were awarded a grant of £50,000 from Clapham based charity, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) and £50,000 from North Yorkshire County Council's Rural Targets Fund. Other funding came from sources included Richmondshire District Council and donations from local groups and individuals. Together they raised the £107,000 required for the building.

Chris Lodge, Project Officer at YDMT commented, "We have been funding projects for ten years now, and this project is a great example of what can be achieved. Applicants can sometimes feel that it is a bit of a struggle to meet with the required criteria and paperwork, but hopefully we can make that process a little easier and guide our applicants through the various elements required."

There are still funds available under the North Yorkshire Aggregates Grant Scheme and YDMT are inviting applications before the closing date of Friday 7th September. If you would like further information and details about how to apply, contact Chris Lodge on 015242 51002, email chris.lodge@ydmt.org or visit the Trust's website: www.ydmt.org where an application form is available to download.

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