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Preston St Mary Village Hall extension project awarded £109,000 grant from Babergh District Council




A grant of more than £100,000 has been awarded to a village hall improvement project, which is set to begin later this year.

Preston St Mary Village Hall successfully bid for funding from Babergh District Council’s community infrastructure levy (CIL) fund, which is made of contributions from housing developers as part of their planning permissions.

The project had previously received £130,000, but this was returned after unforeseen delays, including the lapse of previous planning permission, meant the work could not be completed in its original timeframe.

Preston St Mary Village Hall committee members celebrate a cash boost from Babergh District Council's Community Infrastructure Levy towards their extension plans..Pic - Richard Marsham.. (48041456)
Preston St Mary Village Hall committee members celebrate a cash boost from Babergh District Council's Community Infrastructure Levy towards their extension plans..Pic - Richard Marsham.. (48041456)

On Tuesday, the council’s cabinet agreed to provide £109,000, adding to the £87,000 raised by the Preston St Mary community, to help fund an expansion at the hall, with improved kitchen and toilet facilities, which recently received planning approval.

Clive Arthey, Babergh’s cabinet member for planning, said: “I am delighted that Preston St Mary has been successful in securing the funding needed for vital improvements to their village hall.

“It is more than just a building, it is the heart of the community where local residents can come together to learn new hobbies or form friendships – the importance of which cannot be underestimated as we begin to emerge from the social isolation caused by Covid-19.

“I’d like to thank the village for their tireless fundraising efforts and overwhelming support for the project.”

Green councillor Robert Lindsay, ward member for Preston St Mary, added: "For various reasons this project has been a long time in coming, so I'm really pleased the funding is now there.

“What it lacks in size, Preston makes up for in community spirit. Its village hall is a fine old building but it has long needed an update with any people hiring the hall having to brave the weather to use the toilet.

"This grant will ensure the village's community meeting space is fit for modern purpose for a long time to come."