Success for village hall campaigners

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A LONG-fought battle by campaigners to keep their village hall open at an affordable rent has paid off.

The Marjorum Hall in Gosberton Risegate was taken over by the Marjorum Beehive Association back in December and since then the committee has turned the hall around, ensuring it’s regularly used.

The hall was previously rented out at £945 a year to a committee that folded in May but when a new committee came forward, the hall’s owners, the Robert Marjorum Trust, wanted to put the rent up to £4,000 for the first year, £6,000 for the second and £8,000 for the third.

Around 100 people turned out to a public meeting to back The Beehive Association’s plans to run the hall at an affordable and fair rent.

Following months of talks, the trust agreed to give the association a 15-year lease at £2,000 a year.

The wrangle over the hall left the future of the Busy Bees Playgroup in the balance along with a host of community events held at the hall.

Since taking over, the new committee has been busy organising a host of fundraising and community events including bingo, a cinema day, an Easter fair, table top sales and a summer street party and barbecue.

There are future plans for keep fit classes, cookery classes and music and art workshops.

Liz Lenten, chairman of The Beehive Association, said: “We have planned lots of events and open meetings to try and relaunch the hall to help towards fundraising for running costs and refurbishment plans and to engage the community.

“The Busy Bees Nursery, which is one of our regular hirers, is thankfully picking up again now that the rumours of closure have stopped.”

The Beehive Association is hoping to raise at least £10,000 through a fundraising campaign to upgrade the hall.