Leaders hope to revive Brandon hall

The Advertiser Series: Tom Sharples and Sarah Leckenby in Brandon Community Hall Tom Sharples and Sarah Leckenby in Brandon Community Hall

LEADERS are hoping to restore a once-thriving community hall to its former glory.

Built in 1961 from local miners’ contributions, Brandon Community Hall, in Brandon, near Durham City, was once the centre of village life, with hundreds of people passing through its doors each week to enjoy a wide range of activities and events.

The Brandon Lane venue having been left off a countywide list of community venues earmarked to receive investment from Durham County Council two years ago, the hall’s management committee has been trying to make it self-sufficient.

Members are drawing up a business plan for its future and hope to take more responsibility for its operation and attract new funding.

The centre features two halls, a kitchen and toilets and is available for group bookings and functions.

Following an upturn in fortunes, it is now in use every night of the week, including for bingo, Scouts, film screenings and a highly successful table tennis club.

The table tennis club is part of the Move Into Sport initiative, aimed at getting people active through recreational sport.

It has also produced two junior champions and leader Tom Sharples hopes to build its membership from around 20 to 250.

A new roof was recently completed, but the hall needs further improvements to the kitchen, toilets, lights and heating system. Estimates have been sought.

Sarah Leckenby, the centre manager for the last three years, said: “We want to bring it back to its former glory.

“There are lots of older people living nearby, so it would be nice to have coffee mornings and more events.”

Ms Leckenby has a long-standing family connection with the hall.

A banner hanging on a wall depicts the moment then Prime Minister-to-be Harold Wilson shook hands with her grandmother on visiting the hall in the 1960s.

For more information on Brandon Community Hall, to get involved or to make a booking, call Sarah Leckenby on 07794-604-669.

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