It’s Christmas again for Silsden after £ 100,000 lottery boost
Just a few weeks ago, St James’s Church announced that a painting presented by local artist Martin Williamson was to be reproduced as a Christmas card in order to raise funds for a major renovation project.
Now the Project 200+ program, aimed at renovating the church hall, has received another exceptional gift – nearly £ 100,000 in national lottery funding.
The money will be used for the third phase of the project, including the installation of new toilets and a wheelchair accessible main door and foyer.
To date, the project – named after the hall’s 200 years of service to the community – has provided a new heating system, large folding doors and a wheelchair ramp.
The entire project is expected to be completed in 2023.
A boost, of £ 30,000, has also been received from a charity that wishes to remain anonymous.
Project organizers say the last major investment in the St James Community Hall, which is used by a wide range of groups and for events, dates back to the 1980s.
They add that funding the lottery will help secure its future.
Among those who use the hall is the Pied Piper Kindergarten.
Its leader, Jenna Smith, said: “We are delighted that the National Lottery Community Fund has been able to help this great project.
“This work will allow us to provide a much more pleasant environment for our children and their families.
“We are a community nursery school that has looked after children in the region for over 20 years.
“These improvements will help us provide better opportunities for our children and help them become more independent learners.
“The room is used by us every day of the week and this money that has been allocated will be a great asset, helping to modernize the building and improve the preschool environment.”
The room also played a major role in the community effort that was launched when most of Silsden was left gas-free at Easter in 2018 after workers damaged a pipeline.
And a vibrant tribute was paid by the bosses of Northern Gas Networks.
Managing Director Mark Horsley said: “Without the use of the facilities at the St James Community Hall, we would have been left without a Customer Center as we worked to get Silsden back on gas.
“With 3,500 properties without gasoline and 8,000 customers affected, the warmth and hospitality has allowed us to be in the heart of the city to offer help and support at a very difficult time. ”
For more information on the renovation project, visit stjamessilsden.org.uk/projects/project-200.