A bigger, better Rilling- ton Village Hall is now on offer – thanks to grants worth around £25,000.
The village hall committee and Rillington Pre-school Playgroup have used the cash to improvements the kitchen, build disabled toilets and develop an outdoor play area for pre-school children. They also improved the hall's insulation by fitting double glazing windows.
"Everyone thinks it’s fantastic," said Heather Drabble, of the playgroup. "There have been a lot of positive comments and I think a lot more people will use the hall because of the improvements. Features such as the double glazing windows have also turned the hall into a more comfortable place for groups to meet."
All work should be completed by the end of the month and it is hoped new groups will use the hall to offer courses and activities.
Heather said: "The improvements will provide all users with a more accessible and more inclusive facilities for all to use. The fact we chose to replace the windows with double glazing has also turned the hall into a more comfortable place. We want young and old members of the community to join together at events such as village fayres, table-top sales, bingo and quiz nights."
The money arrived in three large chunks from separate sources.
North Yorkshire County Council handed Rillington Playgroup £9,986 to develop the outdoor play area with new planters, seating, a role-play area, a storage shed and new play equipment.
A further £10,000 was donated by the National Lottery's Awards for All schemes to improve the toilets, add disabled toilets and develop a cloakroom, and £5,000 came from Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and North Yorkshire Community Found- action to upgrade the kitchen facilities. Part of the money raised was also use to fit double glazing in order to improve the building’s insulation.
Currently, the hall is home to the Yorkshire Country- women's Association, the brownies and a toddler group, among others. Rillington Pre-school Playgroup uses the hall five mornings a week and has extended its service to offer full day care on Fridays.