Saving Shireoaks Village Hall

by | 2 December 2018 | Community facility, Community Focus, Worksop

Generous funding provided by Viridor Credits Environmental to the Village Hall restoration project is a fantastic lifeline which will benefit the whole community of Shireoaks for many years to come  Shireoaks Village Hall is a Grade II listed building that has been serving the community in a variety of ways since it was first built in 1810, at the instigation (and expense) of the Reverend John Hewitt of Shireoaks Hall.

It began life as a chapel of ease, a place where people could go to worship as the nearest church was too far away (three miles, in Worksop), for the 25 families resident in the agricultural hamlet of Shireoaks, Later, when St Luke’s Church was built in the 1860s, the chapel became the village school, which is what it remained until 1979 when the school moved to Brancliffe Lane.

Once it was no longer used as a school the building fell into disrepair. A group of villagers then got together to help raise funds and to renovate it so that it could be used as a facility for the whole community, running the hall for 25 years until in 2006 a village hall management team from the church took over.

It is a popular and very well used part of village life, serving as the venue for many activities including art class, bingo, Brownies, Guides and Cubs, tai chi, WI, yoga, line dancing, as well as being the location for events like community consultations, birthday parties, craft fairs and elections.

Time and usage, though, are taking their toll. Although work on the hall has been undertaken from time to time — most recently in 2009 to redo the dining room floor – it is now in need of considerable refurbishment to maintain and improve what it offers by updating the electrical and lighting systems, the kitchen, the heating and the toilet facilities.
The hall’s management team and a small committee have been actively pursuing all means to raise funds for more than a year now and achieved over £10,000 by June this year. With a projected cost of the needed work exceeding £100,000, however, it is clear that without some significant additional funding the target would be many years in the making.

Miracles do happen, however. In August, the team received the wonderful news that Viridor Credits Environmental Company was prepared to award £80,000 from the Landfill Communities Fund, with £20,000 funding from the church, allowing work to commence at the beginning of December 2018.

The Village Hall Treasurer, Peter Stanley, says: “We are really grateful to Viridor Credits for the funding which has enabled us to start work in December. It is an exciting project and one which will make a lasting contribution to our local community.”

Gareth Williams, Operations Manager at Viridor Credits, said: “Facilities like Shireoaks Village Hall are the centre of village life and it was with pleasure that the board was able to contribute to this ambitious project.”

Viridor Credits Environmental
Viridor Credits Environmental was established in 2001 and seek applications from not-for-profit groups and organisations and community groups. Applications can be made for projects that fall into one of three categories (below), provided that the project is located within 10 miles of an active Viridor landfill site or Energy Recovery Facility (ERF). They are:

  • Provision or improvement of a public amenity;
  • The conservation or promotion of biological diversity through:
    the provision, conservation, restoration or enhancement of a natural habitat, or
    the maintenance or recovery of a species or its habitat on land or water
  • Restoration or renovation of buildings of historical or architectural importance or those used for religious worship.

Viridor Credits Environmental Company is an environmental body and independent charity.

Landfill Tax and the Landfill Communities Fund
The Landfill Communities Fund (LCF) is an innovative tax credit scheme enabling Landfill Operators (LOs) to contribute money to organisations enrolled with ENTRUST as Environmental Bodies (EBs). EBs use this funding for a wide range of community and environmental projects in the vicinity of landfill sites. LOs are able to claim a credit against their landfill tax liability for 90% of the contributions they make.