THE community of Sandleheath has celebrated a significant milestone as some £80,000 has now been raised towards its new village hall.

The hall is located in the disused St Aldhelm’s Church, which needed substantial renovation to ensure it was fit for its new role.

The charity trustees who manage Sandleheath Village Hall said they are “delighted” to have phase one of a fundraising appeal to refurbish the building.

The money so far has been raised by the community, a variety of private and municipal sponsors and some grant-making organisations, which will allow the complete renovation of the hall’s kitchen and toilet block, introducing disabled facilities for the first time. Work is due to start soon.

In addition to this fundraising feat, the trustees have started looking ahead to phase two, the remaining works requirement, and marked this by placing three new publicity signs in the village.

Trustee and fundraiser Mike Richardson said: “We are delighted at the response of the village to our challenging appeal, and the phase one building work to create our new facilities will start soon.

“We now need to raise a similar amount in phase two to modernise the main building, update it and make it more environmentally efficient.

“Once that’s achieved, we will have a modern, well-equipped and serviceable village hall.

“Our new signs are designed to remind everyone who lives in or visits Sandleheath that we are still fundraising and that there is something exciting going on in Sandleheath.”

The three village hall signs have been generously sponsored by RNC Fabrications, Tubefab Ltd and the Wolvercroft Garden Centre. These local companies have also contributed to the refurbishment appeal.

Sandleheath Village Hall will remain open during the first overhaul and is available for hire.

The Church of England parish church of Saint Aldhelm was built on land gifted to the church by the Hulse family.

The Foundation Stone was laid by Lady Hulse on June 14 1907. The building was designed by the architect Charles Ponting.

In November 2018, the Trustees of Sandleheath Village Hall leased the St Aldhelm’s building from the church authorities for a period of 25 years.

To donate to the Village Hall Fundraising Appeal or for more information about the project, visit