In only a few short weeks since we announced that we are taking over Neston Civic Hall and bringing this much loved facility back in to community use, we have received unexpected, but welcome support from our community.
Shortly after we made the announcement in January that we had signed the lease to allow us to get the premises back up and running, Kris McFarlane from Shop4Neston got in touch to say that we had won the public vote and they had £12,000 to donate to support us.
In fact, Kris and his team of volunteers actually raised an incredible £15,000 and they made an additional donation of £3,000 to Neston Nomads to support their Walking Football programme that has already had a huge impact on those that have taken part.
Investing In Community
For those that don't know already, Shop4Neston only exists because of Kris' determination. During the first lockdown, Kris was made redundant from the previous operators of the shop on Liverpool Road. However, he had an idea, he wanted to do something for local people and so he set up Shop4Neston CIC to raise funds for local charities, where the customers would decide how the profits would be shared.
Gareth Prytherch, Chief Executive of the Neston Community Youth Centre said:
"What Kris and his team have managed to achieve, in extremely difficult circumstances, is incredible. To be made redundant in the middle of lockdown and then take a personal risk, to achieve what he has for our community, is just awe inspiring. Our trustees, staff, volunteers and former users of the Civic Hall are incredibly grateful to all involved.
Shortly afterwards, Cheshire West and Chester Councillors Keith Millar (Neston Ward), Martin Barker (Parkgate Ward) and Louise Gittins (Little Neston Ward) donated £6,000 from their members budgets.
These donations mean that we can move ahead quickly to get Neston Civic Hall open and being used for performances, ballroom dancing, flower demonstrations and much more.
We are now working to get everything ready to reopen the hall in March, almost 2 years since the last activities took place.
In the next couple of weeks we will be cleaning, fixing, sorting an arranging phones, insurance, internet, licensing and more. From March you will be able to find out what's going on at the Hall via the What's On page of our website.
We will not be taking bookings for private parties / functions yet until we have completed the licensing process but we will update you as soon as we can. For any other enquiries please visit our Room Hire page.
Finally, our Trustees, Staff and Volunteers would like to say a massive thank you for the donations, kind words and the support of user groups in getting this far. We are in no doubt that with the ongoing support of the community, the Civic Hall will return to its former glory.