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Residents urged to get behind £400,000 village hall refurb

Volunteers of the Knoydart Village Hall Committee in Lochaber are urging residents to help raise the funds to fix the roof, extend the existing premises and create a bar.
Volunteers of the Knoydart Village Hall Committee in Lochaber are urging residents to help raise the funds to fix the roof, extend the existing premises and create a bar.

Residents in one of the north’s most remote areas are aiming to raise £35,000 in a bid to preserve their village hall for future generations.

Volunteers of the Knoydart Village Hall Committee in Lochaber are urging residents to help raise the funds to fix the roof, extend the existing premises and create a bar.

Jackie Robertson, a volunteer on the Village Hall Committee, says the hall is something the community can’t afford to lose.

She said: “The village hall was built in 1950 and it’s the heart and the social hub of the community. Over the years it’s got more tired, the roof is leaking and the toilets and the kitchen aren’t working. We are going to need the hall for future generations.

“It’s creaky and leaking and it needs a lot of work to keep it thriving socially and musically. A lot of bands and events are held there. It gets used by the local schools as a gym and it has courts to play badminton on.

“It’s the heartbeat of the community where everyone can exchange information and the community can socialise. It’s a place for people to let their hair down and enjoy themselves. Older people might go without speaking to any one person for days. We need that social interaction with each other.”

The estimated cost for the project is £400,000 and the committee eager to raise at least 25% of the costs themselves by hosting a number of events such as silent auctions and music gigs at the hall.

The appeal has raised £10,190 of their £35,000 target in a fortnight – aqnd they have 42 days to raise the remaining funds.

The work is expected to take four to five months to complete once planning permission is granted.

David Newton, the local development officer for Knoydart, added: “It’s been a long time coming and in that time the hall has been, over the last ten years, very active.”

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