People with mobility problems will be able to access a village hall easier as part of the first phase of its renovation.
Chidham and Hambrook Village Hall has been awarded £7,860 to build a ramp so people with disabilities can access the facilities.
The hall, on the A259, is earmarked for an extensive makeover, with plans being drawn up by architects in the coming weeks.
Once ready a consultation will take place with local residents about the proposals, which is estimated will cost £300,000.
Village hall committee member John Wingrove said he was delighted to receive the grant from the Big Lottery’s Awards for All scheme.
“We have been looking for funds from various areas,” he said. “We want to build an access for those with problems with mobility. We should not be excluding people with mobility problems.”
Work will start on the ramp in August and will take around two weeks to complete.
Chairman of the village hall committee Rod Isted said three surveys had been carried out, including an asbestos survey, to help the architects come up with a plan.
Fortunately the levels of asbestos found were minimal.
“What we want to do is get the locals on board,” he said. “We will let them have a look at the proposals and take on board their comments.
“The building has been deteriorating a bit over the years, and we want to bring it up to standard and improve the letting potential.
“We have had one or two people look at it for weddings and it’s not been the type of building they want to use. We are looking for increased storage as well for users.”
The hall was originally a malt house dating back around 200 years. It was converted to a village hall in around 1925.
The new ramp is a boost for those wishing to attend a lunchtime club which started last summer. The club runs from 11.30am- 1.30pm on the first Friday of every month. It is £4 for a two-course meal and refreshments are also served.
For more information about the club contact John Wingrove on 01243 572902. To use the hall contact the bookings secretary on 01243 576580.