The people of Hutton Henry now have a new village hall.
Over the past three years the Hutton Henry Community Association (HHCA) has worked tirelessly to retain a community building in the village.
In January, the association finally secured a lease on the former St Francis Church.
With financial support from the Big Lottery Awards for All, county councillors Rob Crute and Lynn Pounder via East Durham Area Action Partnership, Hutton Henry Parish Council and Warburton’s Community Grant, the HHCA has undertaken improvement works to the former church to convert into a vil hall that will become the community focal point for the village.
As well as the financial support, villagers have given endless hours of their time to decorate, clean and improve the hall in preparation for the opening.
County councillors Rob Crute and Lynn Pounder to the official opening of the St Francis Village Hall.
David Mitchinson, chairman of HHCA, said: “We would like to put on record our thanks to our funders for the kind support which has enabled the improvement works to be undertaken.
“In addition, to our villagers who have spent many evenings and weekends helping to bring to life the hall.
“We look forward to working with villagers to develop a programme of activities over the winter, starting with our Halloween event”
Coun Crute stated: “In these times of Government austerity, when the widespread closure of public buildings is having a detrimental effect on our communities, it is refreshing to see that the residents of Hutton Henry have managed to buck the trend by working together to return this fantastic facility to public use.”
Coun Pounder added: “We are delighted to be invited to the official opening of this new village hall which has had the support of the entire community and which shows such promise in serving the people of Hutton Henry in years to come.”