9:25am Sunday 20th April 2014
A YEAR after fundraisers celebrated news that Pontypool’s Ebenezer Hall would have a new lease of life following a £370,000 project, the end is in sight.
The hall, which was built in 1907 to accommodate the Sunday school and other activities that would not fit in the church building such as wedding receptions and concerts. It had to close in December 2011,.
The closure was due to a dangerous unadopted access road.
leading to the building.
A group of fundraisers then set about applying for grants and fundraising to bring the hall back into use.
The hall’s committee, supported by The United Reformed Church, raised around £70,000 by holding community events.
Then came a cash injection of £298,663 from the Welsh Government’s Community Facilities and Activities Programme. , which awarded £298,663 to the hall. The Project co-ordinator and member of the Ebenezer Hall Initiative John Cox said he was pleased to report that the new access road from Hanbury Road to a new car park was completed in October 2013.
He said: “This was the first phase of an ambitious project taken on by the elders and members of the community and Ebenezer Chapel to refurbish the old Sunday School into a facility for the use of the local community.”
The second phase involved the complete refurbishment of the hall, inside and out, internally and externally, undertaken by building contractor Dark and Hillman.
Work started in November 2013 to remove the redundant internal fixtures, which exposed a number of problems that relates to the age of the building.
But fortunately the general structure of the building was in good shape, so
Damp-proofing was installed, plus a new concrete substructure to the floor and the existing timber floor re-laid.
Other works included installing an insulated cocoon to the outside and roof, new double-glazed windows, and heating system.
New toilets, kitchen and patio area were also installed, while outside a community allotment was created.
There are two meeting rooms., and Mr Cox said explained that the hall would accommodate a range of activities such as young mother groups, coffee mornings and luncheon clubs.
He said: “Providing facilities for young people to meet and join in community activitiesis a priority.”
“None of this would have been possible without the support from the community and we are calling for more volunteers to help us push this exciting project forward.”
The hall aims to be completed in May.
2014 and will host an open day for the community.
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