13 Dec 2015

The annual switch-on of the festive lights at Duddenhoe End Village Hall (6 December) was boosted by the news that the building is set to stand firm for at least another generation.

A grant of £6,180 grant from Essex County Council’s Community Initiative Fund was confirmed on 1 December. This will be added to funding already secured from Uttlesford District Council and Elmdon & Wenden Lofts Parish Council so that the exterior of the timber cladded hall can be refurbished.

The interior of the 85 year-old hall was re-modelled in 2010 with the help of a number of grants. The outside, meanwhile has suffered at the hands of the wind and rain with many of the timbers becoming damaged or rotten.

Bob Reich, Chairman of the Duddenhoe End Village Hall Committee, said: “Thanks to the generosity of Uttlesford District Council and our local Parish Council, we had sufficient money to replace the damaged board with similar materials, however, this wonderful boost from the Community Initiatives Fund means that we can replace all of the timbers with a high quality, maintenance-free product that should stand the test of time and protect the village hall for another 20-30 years.”

Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and the Environment, Cllr Roger Hirst, said: “The Community Initiatives Fund is an excellent example of how Essex County Council is supporting communities to help themselves.

“By increasing the opportunities for local residents, community groups and volunteers individually to shape their local facilities and undertake new ventures, we will see them make Essex an even better place to live and work than it is today.”

Villagers celebrated the good news with a glass of mulled wine and mince pies – and, of course enjoyed the switch-on of some new Christmas lights.