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Hall roof

Rubbish buys a new roof for parish hall

Rubbish from thousands of households is paying for a new roof on a popular Blackdown Hills entertainment venue.

Taunton-based Viridor Credits, which is funded by donations from Viridor’s 18 landfill sites across the UK, including Broadpath, near Uffculme, is giving £25,856 to Clayhidon Parish Hall.

The committee running the 125-year-old building, originally a Victorian village schoolroom, wants to raise over £100,000 to bring it up to 21st century standards.

“Worn slates, leaking ceilings and poor insulation mean we have no choice but to start with the roof,” said committee chairman Gareth Weekes.

Despite its shortcomings, the hall hosts many live music gigs, community events and film shows, and attracts audiences from a wide area. Once a new slate roof has been added, the committee plans to build an extension with new toilets, a meeting room and a parish archive room before thoroughly modernising the hall interior.

Work on the kitchen roof will start in May, but nesting swifts will delay completion of the hall roof until early September. Roofing contractors Courtney Bowden & Son, of Wellington, will be making special nest boxes for them to be fitted once the birds have flown on their annual migration back to Africa,

 “We are immensely grateful to Viridor Credits for this generous grant, which has given a flying start to our fundraising campaign,” said Gareth.  Clayhidon Parish Council has also given £2,000 towards the roof and Richard Drew has donated £1,000 from the proceeds of the music festival he runs,  Drewfest.

The grant is being made under the Landfill Communities Fund, a Government scheme which allows companies to give part of their Landfill Tax  to local community and environmental organisations.

PICTURE- Raising the roof: Phil Lettley, of Viridor Credits (left), with members of Clayhidon's Parish Hall committee.