Villagers to celebrate at hall’s grand opening

Westbury Village Hall
Westbury Village Hall
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Villagers and visitors are invited to the official opening of Westbury’s new community building.

Westbury Parish Council are hosting the formal unveiling of Westbury Village Hall, Sports Pavilion and Community Shop/Cafe on Sunday, May 15, from 2pm until 4pm, following a project over several years to make the building possible.

Westbury Village Hall

Westbury Village Hall

The rebuilding of the village hall, built in 1975 and affectionately known as The Pavilion, was started in July 2015 and completed in March.

The new building features a hall with a wooden sprung floor, modern kitchen, bar, extensive home and away sports changing rooms, officials changing room and community

shop and café. Car parking has been created for 30+ cars.

It opens up onto the large playing field that is home to Westbury Cricket Club, Westbury Football Club and Halse Under 11’s Football Club. In the corner of the field is a well-equipped children’s playground.

Westbury Village Hall - shop and cafe

Westbury Village Hall - shop and cafe

The shop sells both staple foods and milk, but also provides local products such as homemade jams chutneys and bread from Westbury’s own Artisan baker Geoff.

The playing field was bought by Westbury Parish Council, from The Brewery who owned it, in the 1930s and the new village hall is the third community building to be on or next to the field.

The grant process started in 2013 with a Stage 3 Big Lottery Reaching Communities Grant application. During 2013 other applications were made and with some generous support from Viridor, WREN, AVDC, WPC and private donations, the project was able to go ahead.

Throughout the process the aim has been to use local professionals where possible. Westbury Parish Council has been delighted with both Edgar Taylor Builders (Buckingham), and Hayward Smart Architects (Shipton upon Stour), along with the many local professionals engaged in the project.

A spokesman for the parish council said: “Westbury Parish council are thrilled with the collaborative design and feel we have produced an excellent building that sits sympathetically within the village.

“The aim is to particularly expand the use of the hall to serve the broader community and surrounding villages. As such, the Westbury Community Shop Café is a welcome part of this process.”

Westbury shop and café is volunteer supported and is open 8am-6pm most days.

Susanne Ashley is the manager of the shop, and in this role, brings her retail

management experience with Marks and Spencer to the project. She is working closely with Westbury shop café committee who under the chair Paul Winks bring a wealth of support and enthusiasm.

From this process, to further strengthen the community, there has been particular focus on youth engagement. LAF (Buckinghamshire Local Area Funding) have supported an initiative set up by Paul Winks to help integrate the young people of Westbury, who currently attend over 8 different schools in the area. A regular Wednesday evening weekly Youth Club, Youth activities such as Climbing Wall, Space Bus, Zip Lining, Quad Biking have all seen great engagement within the community.

Westbury Village Charity leases the building to Westbury Village Hall Committee, which under the Chair of Vicky Webb will support the friendly spirit of Westbury Villagers by providing a fabulous venue and series of events which are aimed to bring the Community closer together. Recent events include a Beacon celebration for the Queens 90th birthday, with over 100 attendees, a regular Friday night family, pub night from 6.30pm and regular fitness classes.

Visit westburyvillage.org for more details.