Mepal Village Hall
At the rear end of 2017, the rural village of Mepal, East Cambridgeshire was the fortunate beneficiary of a £19,200 grant from local business Mick George Ltd, a substantial amount when you consider that the building was initially created for the equivalent of just £554 back in 1873, originally designed as Mepal National School.
Just five months on, and despite the festive period and inclement weather conditions sandwiched in-between, Mepal Village Hall Management Committee have not been deterred in making significant progress on the car-park restoration works at the community premises, which are now complete.
The car-park project arose due to its hazardous state, owing largely to uneven and broken surface areas that has caused injury and difficulty to those with mobility issues, as well as the more able-bodied, who have also lodged complaints.
In previous years, patch and repair works to the car-park have been completed but haven’t provided suitable remedy to the problems. The restoration funded by Mick George Ltd has eradicated such issues, with all weed infested foliage removed, drainage added, ironworks adjusted, sub-base levelled and compacted, and surfacing installed to approximately 470m2 of coverage area.
The car-park isn’t likely to be the end of the changes either, with storage space, furnishings and an extension to the south-side of the building also on the agenda.
The project is part of an ongoing upgrade scheme that has been taking place since 2005 to improve social facilities within the village, and has seen maintenance carried out on the roof and kitchen, as well as implementing a new toilet block, lobby and gas central-heating system.
The Village Hall officially opened in 1967 and today attracts approximately 5,000 footfall per annum, predominantly made up of the 1,000 strong population within the immediate locality. The residents largely utilise the location for a variety of recreational purposes that include; social gatherings, meetings, lectures, book club, car boot sales, dancing groups, film and music nights, dance classes and children’s outdoor play-area.
Secretary of the Committee, David Stazicker said: ‘’We’re extremely grateful for the grant from Mick George Ltd, as we’ve been concerned about the unsatisfactory state of the car-park for some time now. Having a decent surface on the car park will make a big difference for everyone visiting the Hall, and get rid of an uncontrollable eyesore.’’
Jon Stump, Finance Director at Mick George Ltd commented: ‘’We have a longstanding relationship with the Mepal community due to the operational site that we have in the near vicinity. We are enormously grateful for the ongoing support that we have always received, and as such would endeavour to support any local initiatives, where ever feasible.’’