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Work begins on Great Dunham's new hall

PUBLISHED: 11:00 26 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:37 07 July 2010

Keith Mitchell, left, Great Dunham Amenities committee project co-ordinator, with fellow villagers and trustees at the site of their long awaited new village hall.  From left, Peter and Gillian Tettmar, Keith, and trustees Allen Wakeling, Elizabeth Mitche

Keith Mitchell, left, Great Dunham Amenities committee project co-ordinator, with fellow villagers and trustees at the site of their long awaited new village hall. From left, Peter and Gillian Tettmar, Keith, and trustees Allen Wakeling, Elizabeth Mitche

Richard Parr

It's been a decade in the making but yesterday villagers at Great Dunham, near Dereham, saw work begin on their new £450,000 village hall.

Now everyone involved in the project to provide the village with a new community focal point will be counting down the days until the hall is completed.

Richard Parr

It's been a decade in the making but yesterday villagers at Great Dunham, near Dereham, saw work begin on their new £450,000 village hall.

There are already plans to stage a grand opening party which may be towards the end of this year.

As diggers moved around the site and the boundaries of the building were being staked-out, village amenities trustee Allen Wakeling described it as a “red letter day”.

“It's been a long, hard haul and there were times along the way that we wondered if we would ever get there, so today is certainly a red letter day for the village,” said Mr Wakeling.

The hall, which will include a kitchen, toilets for disabled people, a main hall with a wooden sprung floor for dancing, and moveable staging, is being built on land next to the old hall by local builders TH Blyth & Son. Builder Jim Rice bought the old hall and site and will eventually redevelop the land with two three-bedroom affordable houses for local people. Mr Rice has allowed the hall to remain in use until the new one is ready.

The amenity committee trustees co-ordinated fundraising to buy the £40,000 land and made a successful National Lottery bid for £354,000 towards the total cost of the new building. There were a number of other grants from various organisations, including Breckland Council.

“It looks like it will be a superb building and, because we no longer have a post office or pub, it will become a real focal point in the village,” said Mr Wakeling. He paid tribute to the work of project co-ordinator Keith Mitchell and treasurer Madeleine Farbrother who have been involved with the scheme every step of the way.

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