£250,000 of central government funding has been secured for an innovative community project bringing life back into a retired church in Croglin. 

A small team are set to transform Croglin village's listed St John's Church into a bright new visitor centre and community hub.

Sat among the north Pennines, the new space will act as an educational hub for visitors exploring the area - housing a permanent exhibition showcasing the history and natural environment of the surrounding countryside. 

The church has sat empty since 2012 but this new funding will help equip the space with a kitchen, toilet and space to house a post office.

Inside visitors will be able to find a lending library, regular pop-up cafe, warm hub and flexible space for hire and use by school field trips.

There are even plans to make the fells more accessible by providing an all-terrain wheelchair for hire. 

Previously the team secured £20,000 from the now-defunct Eden District Council, but this new Government funding from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities' Community Ownership Fund represents the team's largest investment by far. 

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The scheme has had support from local MP, Dr Neil Hudson, who helped secure the government funding.

Dr Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border, said: "This is amazing news for one of our many vibrant rural communities.

"I must applaud the tenacity and dedication of the Helm Croglin team who have worked tirelessly to secure a future vision for their beautiful, retired church building.

"This announcement is an unmitigated win for people across the North Pennines."