AFTER five years of restoration St Nicholas’ church parochial hall has opened its doors to the public again.
The 100-year-old building in High Street, has had £520,000 spent on it to build disabled facilities and access, a small meeting room and a main hall with a garden and patio.
The final phase of the project is to be the kitchen with a small meeting room above, made possible by a £50,000 grant from Biffaward.
In 1997 Biffa Waste Services, one of the largest suppliers of waste management services in the UK, agreed to donate landfill tax credits to the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) to administer under the fund name Biffaward.
Grants made from the fund currently amount to more than £100 million, supporting many worthwhile projects.
The parochial hall project in the conservation area in High Street has meant that a refurbished building will from this week be packed with a wide range of activities.
Some of the groups already booked are keep fit classes, martial arts, brownies and guides, beavers, cubs and scouts and JAM (Jesus And Me). There will also be yoga, baby massage, Pilates and ballroom dancing.
Heather Alford, one of the key fundraisers in the project, said: “Initially there will be limited access to the main hall as work is still in progress in the kitchen area. It is expected that the hall will be fully open by summer.
“Although the building will be opened for use this week, the official opening will not take place until Friday June 17 when the Dowager Countess of Clarendon will attend to mark the occasion.
“This event will be a dual celebration of the centenary of the laying of the foundation stone by the 4th Earl of Clarendon and the re-opening of the parochial hall.
“We are over the moon that we have reached this point.
“So much hard work and generosity has gone into this project from so many people and groups in Kenilworth. We have been waiting to reach this point in the project for a very long time and now the hall can be enjoyed by the community for years to come.”