Grand re-opening for Padworth Village Hall

Padworth Village Hall was officially re-opened by Newbury MP Richard Benyon on Friday, September 19, after a £150,000 project to transform it into a warm, welcoming and energy-efficient venue for a community activities and events.

Dr David Evered, trustee of the hall’s management committee and chairman of the refurbishment group, Rt Hon John Redwood MP and Rt Hon Richard Benyon MP
at the opening of Padworth Village Hall.

Around 100 local people attended the opening ceremony and the unveiling of a special plaque to commemorate the occasion. Among those also attending was John Redwood MP, the chairman and chief executive of West Berkshire Council, together with fellow councillors and local residents.

The upgrading and refurbishment programme, which was part-funded by Grundon Waste Management, has included a new insulated and lightweight roof, the installation of solar panels and a modern energy-efficient space and water heating system, have all helped to reduce the hall’s energy consumption and its carbon footprint.

Mr Benyon, whose family trust has contributed towards the refurbishment programme, paid tribute to the hard work of everyone involved and said it was a good example of what could be achieved through the combined efforts of local people. He expressed confidence that village communities would continue to thrive and emphasised the importance of a focus for local activities.

His comments were echoed by Dr David Evered, one of the trustees of the hall’s management committee and chairman of the refurbishment group, who said: “We are very grateful to the many donors who have contributed so generously to give our village hall a new lease of life.”

Local residents marked the re-opening of Padworth Village Hall

Grundon provided £8,000 towards the cost of the project through its Landfill Communities Fund, while other contributors included the Greenham Common Trust, the Englefield Trust, Padworth Parish Council and West Berkshire Council.

Originally built in 1949, the hall has always been a focus for community life and, together with its neighbouring recreation ground, is used for between 350 and 500 different functions and activities each year. The opening event included a display detailing the history of the hall and information on regular users, as well as examples of work produced by the craft groups who meet at the hall.

Clayton Sullivan-Webb, managing director of Grundon, commented: “We are always very pleased to be able to contribute to the communities in which we operate and we hope that that the regeneration of this hall will ensure it stays at the heart of Padworth for many years to come.”

Greenham Common Trust spokesman Julian May said: “Over the last two years Greenham Common Trust has committed £3.5m as part of the Community Buildings Improvement Programme to help renovate, refurbish and replace community hubs such as Padworth Village Hall all over West Berkshire and North Hampshire. These vital buildings are the lifeblood of towns and villages and the Trust is very proud to be among the organisations helping to keep them thriving.”

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