POULNER Scouts and Hale Village Hall are to receive thousands of pounds in the latest round of grant funding from landfill company Veolia.

The Veolia Environmental Trust, which awards money from its landfill tax bill towards projects that help the community, is giving the scouts £18,240 towards the installation of an indoor climbing wall at their HQ on Southampton Road.

The club has been trying to raise the £30,000 needed for the climbing wall for some time. It will be available for the whole community to use.

Rob Allardyce from the scout group said: “Indoor climbing is a fast-growing sport and it is accepted that it develops self-confidence and a sense of responsi-bility in participants.

“This facility will be much valued in the local community and this grant is a very important contribution to the project.”

The trust is giving Hale Village Hall on Hatchet Green £14,294 to fund a new lighting system as part of Phase 2 of a project to transform the hall into a warm, welcoming venue for events and activities.

Jacqui Hortas of Hale Village Hall management team said: “There is very poor public transport in the village and there are very few amenities.

“The hall provides a central meeting place for everyone and this grant will help us turn it into an even better venue for our village.”

Hale Village Hall was built in 1931 and is currently used by a pre-school, the primary school next door for gym, school dinners and assemblies and the Brownies. It also hosts a monthly local food market. There is regular entertainment including promotions of local theatre and arts. Brownies from all over the UK regularly stay in the hall to experience the New Forest.

Hale Social Committee runs drop-ins including computer tuition and there is a monthly coffee morning. Hale has no shop or pub so it relies on its village hall to keep residents in touch with one another.