Improvements made to a memorial hall made possible by Community Asset Fund
Easthope, Shipton and Stanton Long Memorial Hall is one of the most recent beneficiaries of grant funding through Shropshire Council’s Community Asset Fund.
Thanks to a grant of £8,000, several necessary improvements have been carried out for the benefit of all those who use the premises, including the addition of a rear fire door, non-slip flooring, updated cooking facilities and insulation to the entire roof.
The whole community can now enjoy using this restored facility for a range of activities such as Women’s Institute, local council meetings, band practice, sewing clubs, keep fit, parties, fundraising, sports events and cultural evenings.
These improvements have also ensured that the hall is a safer place for regular use by over 500 residents of the three main surrounding villages: Stanton Long, Shipton and Easthope.
The Community Asset Fund is a pilot grant scheme launched in December 2021. It is funded by the Government through the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG), and was set up with the purpose of providing support as part of the recovery from the pandemic.
Anne Belshaw, the memorial hall’s treasurer, said:-
“We can’t thank Shropshire Council enough for giving us this grant. We love our village hall and the whole community will be thrilled to have it looking so smart.”
Cecilia Motley, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for communities, culture, leisure and tourism, and transport, said:-
“I am delighted to hear that this money has made such a difference to the local community.
“The pandemic impacts on everyone in one way or another, and among the impacts are the challenges for community-owned assets. Some had to stay closed for a time, some lost income due to reduced community activity or bookings, others may have faced challenges with changes in volunteer support and investment.
“The impact of the pandemic has prompted concerns over the sustainability of some community assets. These community services and buildings are vitally important in achieving post-pandemic recovery, rebuilding local social networks, and maintaining strong rural communities, and it’s important that we invest in them.”
Dan Thomas, local Shropshire Councillor for Much Wenlock, added:-
“The village hall is an important community asset that hosts everything from Young Farmers dances to parish council meetings, and I’m delighted to see the great work having this grant has achieved. Adding insulation to the roof has been an important element to reduce running costs for the building and to meet climate targets.”
To date, grants totalling more than £140,000 have been awarded to community groups across Shropshire to boost their recovery from the pandemic as part of this programme.