New look for village’s historic Ley Hall

An impression of how Ley Hall will look.

An impression of how Ley Hall will look.

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Villagers turned out in force to a consultation meeting to lend their support to a £255,000 lottery bid to transform their hall.

More than 70 villagers gathered last Saturday to find out more about the proposed changes to Ley Hall at Lealholm as a project team pushes ahead with their attempts to secure lottery funding.

The Ley Hall Project team is currently applying for funding from the Big Lottery to improve the hall and has already received a Development Grant of £11,862 to complete the bid.

They hope to refurbish the building which is in need of repair to provide a large, new kitchen, new toilets including disabled facilities, increased storage, improve access and better sustainable lighting and heating.

Charlotte Harrison and Anthony Lazarus of York-based Mass Architecture were on hand with the up-to-date drawings, samples and ideas for the proposed refurbishments.

One of the members of the project team, Jenny Redway, told the Whitby Gazette everyone had the chance to have their say on the proposals and all comments were noted.

She added as well as the new plans on display, Brenda Jones had put together an interesting history of the hall and Taylor Scaife of the Bradbury Centre gave information on proposed activities.

Coffee and home-made cakes were served.

She said: “We were delighted that so many people came to take part in the consultation and showed their enthusiasm and support for the project.

“If all goes well, the refurbished hall will be a big asset to the village and it is vital that everyone locally has a chance to be involved.

Ley Hall was built in Lealholm back in 1933 by the Ley family and was given to the Parish of St Thomas and St James.

It is well used in the village by a host of groups already but it is hoped new services can be provided such as a luncheon club, internet cafe, Fit Tots and other local clubs.

In 2006, the parish plan identified a need for the hall to be extended and upgraded.

Following a village questionnaire, the Parochial Church Council, who own the hall, decided to apply for funding to make the improvements and appointed a team to take the scheme forward.

Stages one and two of the Big Lottery bid have already been successful and the project team of Christine Aldworth, Nick Wykes, Brenda Jones and Jenny Redway are currently working on the third and final stage.

Other funding has come from the Normanby Trust, the York Diocese Social Care fund and the Community Sustainable Development Grant to the project while local people have contributed more than £750 with the Be A Brick, buy a Stone scheme.

Mrs Redway added the team is now working on a business plan which they also have to submit and will find out if they are successful this June.

“The whole village is crossing its fingers we are successful.

“I think the fact they have given us a development grant so far is a good sign. They do like our bid. I think it would be a big anti-climax if we didn’t get it but we have been told we can apply again if we are unsuccessful.

“It’s amazing people are showing such interest as we haven’t even got the money yet.

“People seemed to like the design and the fact there was going to be much more space in the hall and there is a new seating area with views over the side

of Lealholm.”