Revamped hall should 'make villagers proud'
AFTER its initial construction in 1976 and an extension in 1994, it was time to invest more than half-a-million-pounds into a Mid Devon community centre to bring it up to 21st century standards.
Magelake Hall, Uffculme, was declared officially open on Friday, following a 12-month refurbishment project which has transformed it into a modern and clean building with up to date facilities.
Not only has the appearance of the centre changed dramatically, but the changing rooms at the base for Uffculme Sport and Social Club, Culm United Football Club and a number of youth sides have had a much-needed revamp.
Diane Brandon, Magelake Committee chairman and parish and district councillor for the village, said: "Apart from the fact most of it has been there since 1976, the changing rooms were pretty awful, but they were repaired several times.
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"It is a lovely venue now. We have had a couple of weddings down there already and it is ticking over quite nicely, but we need more use from it if it is going to pay its way.
"Work started last August (2011) and within 12 months we have got a brilliant new building, a spanking kitchen, a new car park and it's all looking pretty good."
The showers and changing rooms have been vastly improved and because there are now four such areas, as well as those for officials, two football matches can be played at Magelake simultaneously.
Councillor Brandon said the ceiling of the building has now been raised so a greater variety of sports can be played there, including badminton and trampolining.
The committee hopes to encouraging more groups and clubs to use the venue. Extra storage for equipment has been provided and the car park has been resurfaced with parking spaces for more than 80 cars, as well as coaches.
The main bulk of the funds to revamp the hall were donated by Uffculme Environmental Ltd, on behalf of Viridor.
Other donations were made by dignitaries for the district and around 60 people who were involved in the project, including Neil Parish, MP for Tiverton and Honiton, and a local woman who opened the original building in the 1970s, were invited to the celebratory shindig on Friday afternoon.
Mrs Brandon added: "The building was officially opened by Francis Welland, who has served as parish clerk for more than 30 years and has always been a staunch supporter of Magelake."