A PROJECT to renovate Sandleheath Village Hall has taken another step forward but £12,000 still needs to be raised to finish the job.

The second phase of the refurbishment, which involves work to the exterior and interior of the main hall, has started. The first element is the refurbishment of the roof where the tiles will be repaired and replaced, the battens renewed, and insulation added.

The chair of the trustees, Keith Bennett, said: “The start of phase two is yet another significant step towards providing our residents with a much-needed, modern village hall, ready for a great variety of local public and private events.

“Our hall will greatly enhance our rural village life, particularly post-Covid when we will be able to rebuild and develop our community using the new facilities.

“In addition, our thriving Sandleheath Community Association, which organises village events and is doing much to support our more vulnerable residents during Covid restrictions, will have a flexible, serviceable home.”

The whole refurbishment programme is costing in the region of £140,000. The hall project has seen the disused St Aldhelm’s Church building undergo renovation works to ensure it was fit for its new role. It now boasts a fully renovated, reconfigured and re-equipped kitchen/toilet block including disabled and baby-changing amenities.

The first phase of the refurbishment of the new village hall cost around £59,000. Fundraising is continuing for the project. The trustees hope to finish phase two soon but say that is dependant on raising £12,000.

The work is being carried out by Chalke Valley Roofing of Salisbury.

Once funds are available, the hall will be modernised and enhanced inside, including a new electrical system and insulated windows.

Trustee Mike Richardson said: “We are getting near the total required for realising our project, having recently received generous donations from both the Bernard Sunley Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation. That said, £12,000 has yet to be raised and obtaining this final amount is likely to be the most challenging. We are still very much fundraising.”

Visit sandleheathvillagehall.com to donate.