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Work starts on Cononley Village Institute refubishment
11:00am Saturday 17th August 2013 in News
A major fundraising effort by the community has enabled the long-awaited refurbishment of Cononley Village Institute to go ahead.
After two years of fundraising and successful grant applications to various bodies, including Yorventure and Craven District Council, work is under way and is due to be completed by the middle of September.
The project, which including fittings, will cost around £95,000 and will see the complete transformation of the institute, with improved disabled access and a new acoustic ceiling for the main hall.
The work - which is being carried out by Cononley builders Enoch Harrison and Son - will also include a larger kitchen and better toilets.
Earlier work has included a new roof and the installation of an electric mechanism to work the clock on the outside of the institute, which until earlier this year was wound manually every Sunday by resident Brian Nelson.
Richard Woolf, a member of the institute committee, said around a third of the money needed for the restoration had been raised in the community.
Proceeds from the annual scarecrow festival and the new village beer festival had gone to the work as well as other fundraising activities in the village.
Grant giving organisations had included Awards for All, the Bernard Sunley Foundation, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Swires Trust.
“It will have cost around £95,000 including the fitting out, and we will still have some fundraising to do for the kitchen requirements,” he said.
“It’s been a really good effort and with around a third being raised locally has helped us with the grant applications.”
The race is on now to complete the work for a full programme of activities planned for the autumn. The Stepping Stones Nursery, currently in temporary accommodation, is anxious to move back into the institute, while Skipton- based Jay Walkers theatre group is booked for the first performance in the new-look institute in September.
The Cononley Village Institute, which is more than 100 years old, is not only a community building for the village, but also its war memorial.
It is a registered charity, with Cononley Parish Council as sole trustee, and is managed by a committee of volunteers.
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