A COMMUNITY venue in Christchurch is being given a new lease of life after a residents association won the right to run it.

Druitt Hall, on the High Street, is being refurbished in conjunction with Christchurch council, by members of the Druitt Hall Community Association.

Volunteers from nearby Waitrose are helping to re-paint the hall, which will feature a cream and turquoise colour scheme and 1950s-style decor.

Nigel Cook, a trustee of the hall’s association, said: “Our main aim is to get it into good shape because at the moment the usage is probably at about 15 per cent of Druitt Hall’s capabilities and we want to get that to around 90 per cent. We have been very fortunate in that local companies have helped including Brandon Tool Hire, Crown paint and B&Q.”

Druitt Hall will also be furnished with a new disabled toilet, as well as the current toilets being updated. The kitchen will be brought back into use, which Nigel says has been out of action for 12 years, and a meeting room.

An agreement with the council to refurbish the hall was signed prior to a three-year lease being granted from September 1.

Tracy Harrison, community liaison manager from Waitrose in Christchurch, said: “We have two teams of five volunteers, who are partners at the store, helping over the two days by painting.

“The company allocates 250-hours of community work to use on local projects throughout the year, which have previously involved painting at Mudeford Infants School and gardening, but we are always looking for a big project to help.”

Chris Guest, another trustee, said: “We are so grateful for the opportunity. When the hall was first built, it was created through a community effort from people who live in the town, so we are now looking for more skilled people to help improve the hall.”

The Mayor of Christchurch, Cllr Denise Jones, will open the hall on September 13.