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Bulldozers move in on former village hall to make way for new community facility in mid-Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 15:13 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 08:05 24 January 2018

Lyng Village Hall has been demolished to make way for a new modern community facility. Bulldozers set to work. Picture: JENNA YOUNGS

Lyng Village Hall has been demolished to make way for a new modern community facility. Bulldozers set to work. Picture: JENNA YOUNGS

Archant

Work to demolish a former village hall and replace it with a new modern community facility is firmly under way.

Lyng Village Hall has been demolished to make way for a new modern community facility. Earlier high winds in Norfolk made an early start on the work. Picture: JENNA YOUNGSLyng Village Hall has been demolished to make way for a new modern community facility. Earlier high winds in Norfolk made an early start on the work. Picture: JENNA YOUNGS

Local contractors have already moved in to knock down the current dilapidated Lyng Village Hall to make way for a new building, which will be around double the size.

It comes following approval from Breckland Council for the mid-Norfolk hall’s redevelopment.

Spokesperson Helena Riches said: “We have now started the next – and arguably most exciting so far – stage of the project, with the demolition of the old hall.

“The demolition, and some necessary tree works, will be taking place this week. Once the site is cleared we’re expecting the new build to start towards the end of February, early March.”

Lyng Village Hall has been demolished to make way for a new modern community facility. Work begins. Picture: JENNA YOUNGSLyng Village Hall has been demolished to make way for a new modern community facility. Work begins. Picture: JENNA YOUNGS

Mrs Riches added that the building had in fact started to demolish itself following last week’s high winds.

The committee, who put together the funding bid, hope the new hall will revitalise the community and transform the lives of current and future residents.

They plan to offer educational and social groups for children and young people to reduce boredom, improve skills and confidence, and raise aspirations.

Older residents will have a meeting place, with activities such as an Over 60s Club, reducing isolation and improving wellbeing.

Preschool activities and services will support new parents and families while community, social and fitness activities will integrate the school, nursery, families and other residents, creating a stronger, healthier, more active community.

Plans to redevelop the village hall have been worked on since 2006 and the team have been fundraising for more than a decade. A total of £3,824 has been raised through their buy-a-brick campaign, which asks local residents and businesses to make donations.

The project also received a major boost last June when it was awarded a grant from the The Big Lottery fund for £744,516 to help build the new facility.

It is hoped that the project will be completed before the end of this year.

· For more information on the project, events or activities, or to donate to the buy-a-brick campaign visit the Lyng Village Hall website.

Timeline of the history of Lyng Village Hall

· 1951 - Conveyance of land from Sayer family.

· 1953 - Village hall and ex-servicemen’s club for Lyng and nearby Sparham, built.

· 1966 - Charity registered.

· 2011 - Full structural survey report reveals building not fit for purpose.

· 2011 - Group of volunteers start fundraising for new hall.

· 2013/2014 - Two failed attempts to apply for funding from the Big Lottery Fund.

· November 2015 - Third application to apply for funding from the Big Lottery Fund successfully accepted.

· June 2017 - Application to the Big Lottery Fund accepted and group awarded grant of £744,516 to build new village hall.

· October 2017 - Planning permission given in full by Breckland planning office.

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