£240,000 in grants for Hitchin community hall, Baldock heritage centre and more

Baldock Arts & Heritage Centre. Picture: NHDC

Baldock Arts & Heritage Centre. Picture: NHDC - Credit: Archant

A Hitchin community hall, Baldock’s heritage centre and the North Herts Minority Ethnic Forum are among the causes to benefit from £240,000 of grants.

The derelict scout hall that will be renovated by Hitchin Educational Foundation. Picture: Hitchin E

The derelict scout hall that will be renovated by Hitchin Educational Foundation. Picture: Hitchin Educational Foundation - Credit: Archant

The community facilities capital grant funds, given out by North Hertfordshire District Council, are intended to help extend the lifespan of these buildings and keep them at the heart of their respective communities.

The minority ethnic forum, based off Hitchin’s Whinbush Road, will receive £50,000 to help build an extension for a meeting room. Director Mohammed Alam said all at the forum were “absolutely delighted” and grateful for the funding boost, adding: “This grant success will enable us to do the necessary extension of our Centre and serve more vulnerable people.”

The same amount will go to the Baldock Arts & Heritage Centre – based in the former town hall – to help convert the old fire station, which is part of the building, into a new heritage area.

Centre vice-chairman Ted Ellis said the team were very grateful for the grant, and that the conversion work was set to start later this year.

The derelict scout hall that will be renovated by Hitchin Educational Foundation. Picture: Hitchin E

The derelict scout hall that will be renovated by Hitchin Educational Foundation. Picture: Hitchin Educational Foundation - Credit: Archant


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Another £50,000 will go to Hitchin Educational Foundation, which is set to renovate a derelict scout hut between Bancroft and Grammar School Walk into a community venue for social and recreational use.

The foundation’s Brian Frederick said this would cover about half of the cost, and allow work to go ahead. He added: “We look forward to the hall’s new lease of life.”

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The other beneficiaries of the funding are Pirton Village Hall – which will receive £45,000 for a multi-purpose community room extension – Knebworth Scouts and Guide Group, which will get £32,000 for essential maintanence to its circa-1950s headquarters, and Barkway Village Hall, which has been awarded £15,000 for a new emergency exit and kitchen renovations.

District council deputy chief executive Anthony Roche said: “We are pleased to be able to contribute vital funds to help these community buildings expand and grow their services.

“Each facility plays a vital role in keeping the community spirit alive in North Herts and long may they continue to do so.”

For more about the community facilities capital projects fund, including how to apply, have a look at north-herts-gov.uk/home/community/grants /community-facilities-capital-projects-fund.

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