Sunshine helps make the official opening of Christchurch’s new village hall go with a sparkle

Grand opening of the new Christchurch community Centre. Opened by Cllr Nigel Russell. Picture: Ste

Grand opening of the new Christchurch community Centre. Opened by Cllr Nigel Russell. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

Sunshine gave an added sparkle to the official opening of the long awaited new village hall in Christchurch at the weekend.

Around 130 villagers turned out for the grand opening, which was the climax of more than a decade of planning and fundraising.

The old hall was condemned and the first public meeting to discuss hopes a replacement was held in June 2000, when it was hoped the project could be completed within two years.

Instead it has taken many years of meetings and discussions and public consultation to achieve the new building, which has taken only 12 months to build under the watchful eyes of building contractor John Cooke and structural engineer Matthew Hall.

The new building includes a main hall with tables and chairs to seat 150 people, a kitchen which is fully equipped and easily accessible, and a licensed bar.

The hall has direct access out onto the playing field and the children’s play areas and skate park. There is a smaller meetings room with comfortable seating and tables to seat around 30. The meetings room opens out onto the bowls green.

A committee, set up in August last year made up of representatives of all the groups that would be using the centre, will manage the facility.

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These include: Christchurch WI, craft club, parish council, shortmat bowls, Christchurch Bowls Club, gardening club, parish lunch, Townley School, the village magazine - The Heron, Christchurch Residents Association

Councillor Nigel Russell (chairman of the parish council) cut the ribbon, which was held by his grandchildren, to officially open the hall and the afternoon’s fun which included: a barbecue, cake stall, teas and coffees, bouncy castle and table tennis.

Cllr Russell thanked everyone who played a part in helping to the make the new hall a reality including Will Sutton, and the late Mac Cotterell and Wolsey Rolfe.

If anyone is interested in hiring the hall bookings can be made through Sandra Kay, bookings secretary on 01354 638478.