An old and much loved village hall is to have a major makeover.
The Vernon Institute in Saughall, standing at the centre of the village’s conservation area at the junction of Church Road and Hermitage Road, has served the area for over 100 years as its community centre and is said to be in need of an upgrade.
The work to the distinctive feature will include re-rendering of some of its external walls, including the clock tower and the replacement of timbers and windows.
Trustees say the project, which is being funded by a £56,700 grant from WREN’S FCC Community Action Fund, will ensure the future of the ‘old and much loved building’.
With Saughall and Shotwick Park Parish Council agreeing a donation of £10,000 towards the project, the refurb will make the building much more visually attractive and help retain its standing in the village, it is hoped.
The clock tower, for which the parish council is responsible, is the village’s war memorial.
Trustees chairman Chris Harman said: “Without WREN’s support to fund this project the Vernon Institute would have been fundraising for another five to 10 years before we could have dealt with these urgent repairs and I am sure this would have then cost even more to have completed the refurbishment.”
WREN, a not-for-profit business, awards grants for community, conservation and heritage projects from funds donated by FCC Environment through the Landfill Communities Fund.
Richard Smith, its grant manager for Cheshire, added: “We’re delighted to be supporting the refurbishments at the Vernon Institute and pleased our funding will help secure the future of this popular facility and local landmark.
“WREN is always happy to consider grant applications for projects that benefit local communities and we’re looking forward to this one having a positive impact very soon.” The work, involving a road closure, will start on July 23.