A makeover for their premises means that the Kilburn Institute is no longer at risk of closure

Funding sign against a blue sky
The village institute was in serious need of refurbishment with a risk of closure if funding and support could not be found.
What was the challenge?

The premises were very rundown, not accessible to people with a disability and in dire need of a makeover. Things were at a point where the trustees weren’t sure whether the hall could remain open or not – which would have been a tremendous loss to the local community.

How did Community First Yorkshire help?

The trustees of Kilburn Institute contacted the Community Support North Yorkshire team and one of our Development Officers got in touch with the group. They pointed the group in the right direction for funding, in particular with their knowledge of which funds were most likely to be successful and which to avoid. They helped with wording and content to ensure more socially focused applications and supported throughout.

With support from Community First Yorkshire the Institute raised £174,000 of funding and put together a project management team. As a result, the building has undergone a major transformation programme including an extension, new electrics, a new kitchen, insulation, heating and furniture. Accessibility has been improved with wheelchair access and an accessible toilet. With the local pub closing the Institute also has a licenced bar for events.

What does the future look like?

The Restoration Project means the hall has a sustainable future for the community it serves. Regular community events are held, such as a quiz and Christmas parties, and local businesses are renting the space for health and wellbeing activities such as yoga and arts and crafts.

The village has no public transport and an ageing population who can be socially isolated. The Institute serves the needs of this demographic as well as bringing in people from further afield. The Institute has a proactive trustee board.

The village hall committee is planning further work on the building such as replacing the roof. They are also looking to diversify their community activity. The committee members know that they can get in touch with Community First Yorkshire for support and guidance whenever they need it.

“We are all very proud of the hall, many people here have an emotional attachment to it. Next, we will be replacing the roof and looking to increase our commercial activity so we can reduce the number of fundraising events. We will be in touch.”
Trustee, Kilburn Institute
About the organisation

The Clothing Bank Ryedale sorts and distributes clothes donations to local families and individuals, encouraging reuse and recycling, providing social, craft activities linked to recycled textile.

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