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Ceremony marks opening of village hall extension

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: October 10, 2012

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A £100,000 project which has involved extending and bringing modern facilities to a village hall near Ashbourne has been officially opened.

More than 100 people attended the opening ceremony at Alstonefield Village Hall which now has a new meeting room and new toilets after the inadequate former old school facilities have all been replaced.

The chairman, Jean Allen, welcomed Staffordshire councillors, past committee members and the many friends and supporters of Alstonefield village to the opening ceremony.

The ribbon to the extension was cut by the treasurer, Dorothy Critchlow, who has served on the village hall committee for more than 60 years, and who is approaching her 90th birthday next year.

The village hall committee decided that a special day was needed to show their appreciation for all the financial and voluntary help that has been given to enable the project to be completed on time and on budget.

Mrs Allen said: “Last autumn the village hall committee faced a difficult decision whether or not to continue with the project costing £100,000, which was to build and equip an extension to the hall.

“This included replacing the inadequate old school toilets, and provide toilets which included disabled facilities and access, essential storage facilities and a meeting room.

“The fund-raising sub committee set about contacting many organisations to secure funding and launched a local appeal to raise funds.

“By Christmas, promised grants from Staffordshire County Council, Robbie Williams Give-it-Sum and Garfield Weston Foundation along with £20,000 of local donations enabled the project to go ahead.

“Now we have superb facilities to compliment our large hall, which is constantly in use serving our local community in many ways.

“Along with past projects, we have transformed the old village school into what is now a first class village amenity which we can be proud of and will benefit our community for years to come.” “Staffordshire Local Community and Well Being funds have provided a wheel chair kept in the hall for use by the local community, and a community computer staffed by local volunteers to ensure that services available through the internet can be accessed by everyone in the community.”

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