134,000 boost for Harman’s

£134,000 boost for Harmans Cross new village hall

19 January, 2010

When the new village hall at Harmans Cross opens in the early
summer it will boast a commercial kitchen, a smaller servery, the
latest audio and visual equipment and a state-of-the-art
ground-source heating system.

These special facilities – made possible by a £134,411 grant
from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) – will mean
that as well as being the hub of village life, the Dorset hall will
be able to stage a wide range of shows and events for the community
and organisations across the district.

“The hall will be used as an educational, recreation and
sporting facility and potentially as a doctor’s surgery,” said Bob
Evans, a retired business executive who is the village hall
committee’s .managing agent “It will also provide an excellent
venue for conferences, small and large meetings and
exhibitions.

“We expect about 60 different organisations to use it, including
people who want internet access and computer training which will be
provided by the “Connecting Dorset” programme,” he said.

The new hall will replace a fast-deteriorating 1950s ex-army
hut. It is estimated that the new building – double the floor size
of the current hall – will increase the current revenue, while the
ground-source heating with its associated heat vent recovery system
should reduce running costs.

The construction costs of the project are being met by the Big
Lottery Fund (grant of £250,000), grants from Dorset County Council
and others (totalling £334,000) and the Village Hall committee
itself has raised more than £100,000 towards the capital works.

“One of the aims of RDPE is to support services that improve the
quality of life for people living in our rural communities,” said
Andy Wood, head of place-making and partnerships at the South West
RDA, which manages RDPE in the region.

“The extra facilities at Harmans Cross will widen its appeal and
make it more versatile, so it will be of greater benefit to the
community at large.”

Ends

For further information, please contact Pat Murray, of the South
West RDA press office, on 07733264756 or Alan Stephenson, of
Harmans Cross Village Hall, on 01929 477125 or by email at
graphsteph@aol.com