Funding for essential building improvements has breathed new life into a community asset in Malhamdale.

Help with securing funding means that Kirkby Malham Parish hall are able to finish the refurbishment of their community building, saving a vital local asset and providing a home for an historical archive about the area.
What was the challenge?

The management committee was finding it hard to source the right funding for their village hall refurbishment project and were struggling to finish the project. Without the refurbishment the Archive Room in the venue would have fallen out of use. They contacted Community First Yorkshire to ask for help.

How did Community First Yorkshire help?

Our development officer systematically evaluated past and current applications and outcomes with the committee. The development officer suggested the SPF Levelling Up fund to take the pressure off the hall’s running costs as there is other funding available towards refurbishment costs and other improvements. The application process was initially slow as the SPF fund officer said there was a conflict of interest with another local group and some environmental work that needed untangling. The hall trustees decided to focus on the Archive Room refurbishment instead. At that point, the development officer contacted the hall again to suggest that they apply to the SPF fund as applications were being encouraged. The development officer also recommended contacting the SPF board about changes to their application which opened up the conversation and was a positive interaction.

With support from Community First Yorkshire the hall was awarded £20k of SPF funding plus a £10k Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust grant. This meant that they had enough funding to finish the project and restore the derelict rooms.

What does the future look like?

By September 2024 the small meeting room will become an archive room for the dale, a place where the local history group keep their archives, and the hall is working closely with that group. As part of the funding agreement the group will hold Trace your Family days and heritage/genealogy days. The hall is at an exciting stage with Action Days to clear out the space and useful items being recycled within the community.

Without the support from Community First Yorkshire the Archive Room would have become derelict and a valuable asset for the community would have been lost.

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’re thrilled to bits. The History group are over the moon and are now really engaged. Without the funding the room would have shut, and the archives would have moved to Settle when they should be available to local people.”
About the organisation

Kirkby Malham Parish hall is a community building in Kirkby Malham village.

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