THE future of plans for a village hall will be in the hands of the residents of Sandleheath in what has been described as a ‘defining moment’ for the project.

The disused St Aldhelm’s Church has been chosen as the site of the prospective new community facility. A meeting is being held at the church on Monday (April 16) at 7.30pm and all residents are invited to come along.

It has been organised by trustees of Sandleheath Village Hall Charitable Incorporated Organisation which has been set up to lease St Aldhelm’s from the church authorities and make the village hall proposal a reality.

Sandleheath parish councillor Simon Daykin, chairman of the charity’s trustees, said: “This is a defining moment for Sandleheath. Our neighbouring villages have contemporary sites that provide facilities for a host of local activities and help to forge a vibrant community spirit.

“We trustees believe that a modern, well-equipped village hall here will bring the same attractive benefits. Naturally, our extensive refurbishment plan will cost a sizeable sum and that is why we need a really good turnout at the meeting; to demonstrate support for the project, and to show a readiness to participate in the work and fundraising that will then take place. This is a go or no-go moment.

“The future of our village hall project is in the hands of the people of Sandleheath. We hope they will come along and decide if it will happen.”

The terms of the lease have been agreed and the trustees will explain more about the project at the meeting on Monday, and how it would proceed if the community give the go-ahead.

Trustee Mike Richardson added: “Getting the legal bits in place has taken longer than we all imagined at the start of this project, but the ducks are now in a row and we are keen to sign the lease.

“The prospect is exciting, as our scheme will help to preserve the historic and much-loved St Aldhelm’s building, and by helping, through fundraising and with the practical work that we will undertake in preparing the village hall for its new role, the inhabitants of Sandleheath will be able to participate in a real, inclusive community project.”

“We hope for an excellent turnout at the meeting.”