Work is now complete on a new state-of-the-art Lottery-funded community centre in Newtoft - and it is set to open up a ‘whole new world of possibilities’.
In the Big Lottery Fund’s largest ever grant given to a Lincolnshire community, last summer a massive £793,000 was awarded to Toft Newton Village Hall Association to build a new desperately-needed community facility.
West Lindsey District Council contributed £25,000 and the area’s district councillor Di Rogers donated £4,000 from her funding pot, bringing the total cost of the project to a staggering £818,000.
Villagers - who have spent the past 30 years trying to secure funding for the building - now cannot wait to start using their new hall.
To mark the opening, a £3,000 family fun day is being held on Saturday, October 22 from 11am until midnight.
The centre will be officially opened by local vicar Chris Harrington at 11.30am.
There will be four bands, including a brass band, a hog roast, burgers, donuts, bucking bronco ride, a bungee run, face painting, a photo booth for ‘selfies’ and goodie bags with merchandise from the new building.
Toft Newton Village Hall Association chairman Don Pavia said: “Everybody’s quite excited about it, it’s years in the getting.
“It’s been great, a bit of a whirlwind.
“As we’ve got on things have picked up speed.
“It’s a community effort.
“A lot of the community are involved even if they’re not on the committee.
“We’re looking forward to having somewhere for all events. We’ll be able to have a lot more and get new things organised.
“It’s opening up a whole new world of possibilities.”
Mr Pavia added: “We’re expecting quite a large crowd [for the fun day].”
Mr Pavia said that while the new building has been under construction, a local social club has been held in porta cabins.
He said there had been some delays in the building work and that the project was running about two weeks behind schedule.
He said: “There have been some delays.
“The project is running about a fortnight behind.
“Obviously you’re going to get some hiccups, but we’ve managed to get round them all at one stage.”
And Mr Pavia said bookings have already been rolling in for the facility.
He said: “We’ve already started making bookings for the new village hall, mainly birthday parties, and the CAB is interested in having a surgery here.”
The previous community building in Newtoft - often referred to as the ‘shed’ or the ‘hut’ -had been in a bad state of repair, with many structural problems.
The new building has a social club, village hall, a bar, a community shop and changing rooms with showers for the local football team.
It will be available to hire for functions and there has been interest from people keen to put on karate lessons and craft classes.
The new hall will serve Newtoft, Newton by Toft and Toft next Newton.
Speaking to the Rasen Mail last year, Mr Pavia said: “It’ll make a massive difference to the area - that’s one of the reasons we’ve managed to get the funding.
“At the moment people have got nothing. The social club serves as everything from a polling station, to a youth club and bingo - everything. It’s well past its use-by date, the building is falling apart. It wouldn’t have lasted much longer.”