AN appeal has been launched to give a hall in Okehampton which is used by many community groups a revamp to make it more energy efficient for the future.

The Church Hall in Market Street has served the parish church and town in Okehampton for more than half a century and is currently home to over half a dozen voluntary and community organisations as well as being the venue for regular quiz nights, private parties and coffee mornings raising funds for many local groups.

Over the years there have been various improvements made to the hall and its facilities, but it is now in need of a serious update to make it more energy efficient and user friendly.

Mish Flexman, from the hall sub-committee, said that more than £100,000 was needed in total for the improvements to the hall, which allied to All Saints Parish Church, but is very much used by the wider community, being in the centre of town.

A fundraising campaign is now underway, and thanks to a generous grant of £20,000 from Okehampton United Charities the first phase of the work will start at the beginning of April.

This will involve roof insulation and a new ceiling and lighting, and will hopefully be completed by April 22, thus involving minimal disruption to the youth groups who meet during school term time. It is hoped to be able to raise enough money through grants, donations and fundraising events, to undertake the next phase during the school summer break.

This will see internal wall insulation and new, more efficient, heating. Eventually there will be a fully accessible disabled toilet and improved disabled access.

The Church of England is currently running a “Give to Go Green” initiative where any donations made via a QR code (displayed in the hall window and on leaflets available inside the hall) will be doubled. The hope is to raise £10,000 from the community, which will then be matched by the C of E up to £20,000. The scheme runs until March 16 and could help efforts considerably. Since the scheme began earlier this month parishioners have raised £4,000.

‘The hall is a wonderful resource for all the people of Okehampton and we want to ensure that it has a sustainable future for many years to come,’ said Mish.