£400k hall takes shape

The new village hall takes shape
The new village hall takes shape
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A £400,000 village hall is beginning to take shape just months after the former building was demolished by developers.

Steel work and foundations have been completed for a new Weeton Village Hall, with it hoped the new building will be open for use in March.

Villagers launched a bid for a new hall after the old wooden structure, which opened in the early 1920s, had become outdated.

Weeton Coun John Singleton said funding for the project had come from a “plan in gain” agreement with a developer which built homes in the village.

He added: “It is really good to see the hall taking shape and the progress made in the last eight months.

“The old hall was demolished in July. We had been planning to build a new village hall for many years with a separate fund, but this cash ended up becoming a maintenance fund for the old hall.

“The only way to get a new hall was to bring a developer, called Northern Trust, which built 20 new properties, bringing with it plan in gain cash to fund the hall.”

The old building, a former Army Nissen hut, was purchased in 1922 from a barracks at Haydock, near St Helens.

The hall was bought using money collected from working people in Weeton.

Each person contributed 2/6d, around 15p in today’s money, with the hall brought to Weeton by horse and cart after being transported to Kirkham and Wesham railway station.

It served the village for many years, and during the Second World War, the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service used the hall as a canteen for the 7,500 soldiers stationed at Weeton Barracks.

Its replacement will include two halls and a smaller meeting room, as well as a kitchen and bar.

Coun Singleton said the new venue was much needed after regular issues with the old hall.

He added: “The major problems with the hall were the lights.

“The last meeting we had there we were using candles. It also had issues with insect infestations. Generally the building was falling down.”

The building was due to be completed by November, but a legal agreement between the developer and the parish council was only resolved in April.

The new hall will help to serve close to 500 residents who live in the village.