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Grand reopening for Cononley Village Institute after £95,000 refurbishment
9:00am Friday 11th October 2013 in News
Cononley Village Institute is set for a grand reopening tomorrow following a £95,000 refurbishment.
The work, which started at end of July, has transformed the 104-year-old institute.
It has included improved disabled access, new toilet facilities, an acoustic ceiling for the hall, a larger backroom and a new kitchen.
“It all looks so new,” said Coun Lois Brown, chairman of Cononley Parish Council. “It’s been a massive project and the work has made such a difference. The old stalwarts and new people have been blown away by the difference.”
The architects, Nuttall Yarwood and Partners Ltd, oversaw the building’s transformation and the building contractor was Cononley-based Enoch Harrison and Son Ltd.
Over a third of the £95,000 cost was raised by fundraising activities in the village, including the annual Cononley Scarecrow Festival, with the remainder coming from grants. Donors included the Big Lottery Fund, Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation, Cononley Parish Council, Craven District Council, Freemasons of Yorkshire West Riding, Garfield Weston Foundation, Swire Charitable Trust, Waddington Trust, War Memorials Trust, Yorventure and the people of Cononley.
Richard Woolf, a member of the institute’s management committee, said the improved facilities would allow for activities, meetings and public and private events.
A full programme of community events is planned with a music marathon on Saturday, November 9, and an arts and craft fair on Sunday, December 1.
Institute users, Stepping Stones nursery, have already moved back in and the annual Cononley Beer Festival was held last weekend.
“The institute, founded in 1909, has a long history of providing a focus for the community,” said Mr Woolf. “It is not only Cononley’s village hall but also its war memorial.”
Saturday’s events will feature an open afternoon from 2pm to 5pm, with refreshments and live piano music by Cononley Singers’ resident accompanist, Damian Oxborough.
The official opening ceremony will be held at 4.30pm amd will be carried out by one of the oldest residents of Cononley, Ellen Kingsbury, who has lived in the village all her life, and two of its youngest residents, three-month-old Violet Long Guest and four-month-old Marcus Gibbons.
Coun Brown said: “We thought about having a celebrity or an MP open it, but this project is one for the village because the building will benefit people from the youngest to the oldest.”
A dinner dance will take place in the evening from 7.30pm to 11.30pm. The ticketed event includes a hot Cononley cassoulet, live piano music from Jasper Minton-Taylor and a disco.
Tickets costing £7.50 are on sale at the Cononley Post Office.
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