BIRDSEDGE Village Hall has reopened for business.
The Mayor of Kirklees Clr KaramHussain officially reopened the hall last Friday.
But it was touch and go last week whether or not the building would be completed in time.
Adding the finishing touches and getting ready for the grand opening and to allow people to look round last Saturday afternoon was a close run thing.
The building had been surrounded by fencing until the last minute and the feeling was that it wouldn’t be ready in time.
But, unveiled and cleaned up, it proved a great success with everyone.
As with most new buildings, the finishing touches will continue for a while but most of the users will now be back in the hall getting used to the new layout.
The mayor and hall secretary Carole Ashley cut a special cake to celebrate the reopening.
The project had been made possible by a £235,309 Big Lottery fund grant.
The hall has been extended and there is now a much-improved kitchen, new toilets, better storage space and a small meeting room.
Building costs had risen to £360,000 since the original application was made and so the hall management committee had the task of raising an extra £60,000.
Most of the project has been funded by the Lottery, but villagers have also contributed by holding fundraisers and through sponsorship.
The new-look hall will allow all events, such as live concerts, coffee mornings, parties and mother and toddler groups to be open to everyone and the hall now also has state-of-the-art facilities for the disabled.
But while the secured funding covered the building work, it didn’t allow for some of the much-needed equipment – a coffee machine, soup kettle and a toaster.
But a charity stepped in to help by donating £385 to provide kitchen equipment for the hall. The Yorkshire Building Society’s Charitable Foundation provided the cash to pay for these essential items.
The hall was originally two houses on Ten Row. It was extended in the 1870s for use as the village school from 1870 to 1911.
It was used as a village club and then as a club for servicemen stationed locally during the Second World War, falling into disuse in the 1950s.
The hall returned to public use in August 1969 when Birdsedge and District Village Hall Trust bought it from the YMCA.
Village volunteers completed renovations to the building and the hall was returned to use in the early 1970s.
Fund-raising at the newly revamped hall continues with a plant sale next Saturday from 10am with refreshments and cake stall in the hall.
Wind in the Willows, the musical, will be performed next Sunday at 2pm, There will be refreshments and a bar. Ring 01484 604289 for tickets.
The Village Quiz Night is back on Friday May 29 at 8.30pm with a bar and supper.