Stage star Jodie opens village’s new £400k hall

Jodie Prenger at the opening of the new village hall in Weeton
Jodie Prenger at the opening of the new village hall in Weeton
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A star of stage and screen took time out from her busy schedule to help officially open a new £400,000 village hall.

Blackpool-born performer Jodie Prenger, currently touring the UK as the lead role in the musical Calamity Jane, visited Weeton on Sunday to open the new venue.

Jodie, who also won BBC One talent show contest I’d Do Anything in 2008 to earn the role of Nancy in the West End musical Oliver!, visited the village and took part in a day of celebrations to welcome the hall’s launch.

Coun John Singleton, Weeton and Staining’s Fylde Council representative, said after cutting the ribbon the theatre star spoke with villagers.

He added: “Inside the hall Jodie had a chance to chat to all the people who had come to see her.

“A plaque in the foyer of the hall displays Jodie’s name together with the date of the launch.

“A bouquet of flowers was presented to Jodie by Michelle Binns the Secretary. Before she left she had a word with some of the senior members of the community too.”

The old village hall, a former Army Nissen hut, was bought in 1922 from a barracks at Haydock, near St Helens.

The hall was bought using money collected from working people in Weeton, with the hall 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 facility as a canteen for the 7,500 soldiers stationed at Weeton Barracks. Its replacement includes two halls and a smaller meeting room, as well as a kitchen and bar.