WORK will start next year on a major refurbishment and development project for Frodsham Parish Church Hall.
The scheme is thanks to three years of community fundraising and a £143,000 helping hand from the Big Lottery Fund.
The Lottery grant, announced this week, is more than half the cost of the estimated £260,000 project that will breathe life into the building that is home to dozens of social groups.
Pauline Sharpe, of St Laurence Church Social Committee, said: 'This major funding is great news for hundreds of Frodsham folk who have been involved in many fundraising events over the past three years, without which we would have had no chance of some of the bigger grants.'
Local fundraising has netted about £38,000 and Robert Shepherd, chairman of the planning and fundraising committee, said: 'Thanks to this grant and the generosity and commitment of many other organ-isations and individuals, the future of the parish church hall is assured.' The project, expected to be completed by the end of next year, will tackle essential structural repairs to the hall, originally built as a school in 1835.
But the work will also bring major improvements, such as a new kitchen, toilets, meeting rooms, computer facilities, a heating system and access for the disabled.
Some of the extra space will be used as an office for Age Concern, which is looking forward to holding regular advice surgeries and seminars.
The Church Street building will also be better equipped to accommodate the growing need for adult education and provide facilities for all hire groups.
The hall is managed by a church committee, which is delighted with the improvements designed by architect Ken Woodward.
Members also expressed their thanks for valuable financial support from other sources, including Entrust Landfill Tax Fund, Frod-sham Parochial Church Council, Frodsham Town Council and the Garfield Weston Foundation.