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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Cumbrian village hall goes up for auction

PLANS for a new village hall in Wetheral have taken a step forward.

The old hall is being put up for auction in March with a reserve of £250,000.

Paul Diggle, a director of Wetheral Community Association, says the sale is essential to raise funds for the new centre that is being built.

Approximately £600,000 is needed to see that project through with just over £260,000 raised so far.

The present hall is used regularly by community groups with a play school every weekday morning as well as the Brownies and the Women’s Institute in the evenings.

The building is also used for sports activities and community events.

Paul is keen to point out those groups are not under threat.

He said: “The hall is being sold with a lease back agreement so the hall users and the hairdresser in the school building next door will still be able to use the premises until a new hall is built.”

However, he’s not certain about the interest in a lease back scheme. He said: “We don’t know is the short answer to that but anyone interested will be told the terms and enter the auction accordingly.”

While funding has come from a number of local sources they’ve not been able to get Big Lottery Funding.

Paul said: “We’ve got the wrong postcode. There’s neither urban nor rural deprivation in Wetheral, as people will know.”

The hall, built in 1891, is being sold as a potential conversion or demolition project. It has no car parking or disabled access and Paul says the roof is very high and uninsulated, making it difficult to heat.

Wetheral Village Hall goes to auction on March 13 at 6.30pm in the Auctioneer at Rosehill.

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