Heart of Yapton revived with makeover

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Some tender love and care has helped a village hall burst back into life.

The Yapton and Ford Village Hall in Main Road, Yapton, has been subject to a rolling programme of repairs and has never looked better.

Hall manager Mandy Keets said the improvements carried out over a three week period, ensure the facilities meet those users would expect when hiring a modern venue.

“People hiring the hall have been extremely complimentary. Organisations putting on weddings have praised the high standards of the main kitchen,” she said.

“It all looks brilliant now and everything has been done to the highest specification and we hope that it will last for a long time,” she added.

The renovations cost around £24,850, and included improvements to all the hall’s kitchens and its bar area.

The largest chunk of funding for the project, a sum of £19,326 came from a LEADER grant, with the Yapton and Ford Village Hall trustees, and Ford and Yapton parish councils all chipping in the rest.

Vice chairman of Ford Parish Council Mark Bentley said: “The refurbishments to the hall are fantastic.

“We have had both the large kitchen in the main hall refurbished and the smaller kitchen. As well as a new bar installed.

“I really hope these changes will encourage more people to take advantage of the hall and its facilities. The village hall should be the focal point for village life and hopefully the continuing improvements will encourage this.”

Members of Yapton and Ford Village Community Group have made good use of the new facilities during their weekly coffee morning.

Run by five friendly volunteers, the get-together takes place every Wednesday morning from 10.30am till 12pm, and has done in various locations around the village for more than 30 years.

Volunteer Joyce Cotterell said: “We are open to anyone who wants to come along for a cup of tea and a biscuit.

“We charge 50p for a drink and a biscuit and after we have covered our costs we donate any proceeds to charity.”

Gladys Diggance who has held sessions in her front room said the group was all about making friends.

“It is a social get together. It is just nice for people to be able to come and have a chat, have a drink, meet new people, make friends, and they can do that in the hall,” she said.