VOLUNTEERS behind a major redevelopment plan for a York community hall are appealing for help as they face a “mammoth” fundraising task to realise their dreams.
Haxby Memorial Hall’s trustees have long had ambitions to give the historic building a new lease of life. Those plans have included a hope the town’s library could be brought to the hall, but as of last summer progress has been sped up.
Trustee Denise Moss said: “We have always said that because of what the community wants, the library would been relocated into the Memorial Hall, but that is happening a bit quicker now because the previous building had to be closed due to structural problems.”
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With £500,000 promised by City of York Council to fund the new library building, the Memorial Hall trustees now have to find the remaining £460,000 in 12 months to pay for a linking building, and new toilets and a kitchen to serve both the hall and the library.
On Saturday they held an open day to tell people about the plans, and about the huge fundraising task ahead
Denise added: “We wanted people to know what was happening, what we have planned, what the new library will look like, and how it will affect the hall.”
It was also an important chance to talk to people who already use the Memorial Hall, to reassure them disruption would be kept to a minimum, she said.
Denise said: “Lots of people were very interested in the plans, and they are particularly pleased to know the new library will be in a more central location.
“We are right in the centre here with the buses very close by, so people will be able to come into Haxby to do a bit of shopping and then come over the library.”
The trustees have already signed up a professional bid writing company to help apply for grants and start raising the £460,000 they need.
They are also hoping to attract more volunteers, particularly younger people or those with families who could get involved and help with the fundraising, to make sure the community centre is there to serve them in the years to come.
The Memorial Hall Trustees meet on the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7pm in the hall, or they can be contacted via the Memorial Hall website www.haxbymemorialhall.co.uk The old Haxby and Wigginton library closed last summer. It is temporarily housed in Oaken Grove Community Centre, and a new mobile library is expected to start work soon.