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BISHOPSTONE residents could soon have a community cinema on their doorsteps after the village hall was awarded nearly £10,000 towards improvements.

The generous donation was granted by the Big Lottery Fund thanks to the perseverance of committee member David Wray in completing a lengthy application.

The £9,900 award will be put towards creating the cinema in the hall by purchasing the necessary equipment such as a projector.

It will also contribute towards other improvements including upgrading the curtains, chairs with storage trolleys, and broadband connectivity.

David, 62 has been involved with the village hall for the last 20 years as a committee member and believes the funding will bring the place into the 21st Century.

“I have worked with other charities before and I have always thought that the village hall could benefit from a lottery grant because it needs updating," he said.

“The village hall is a meeting point for the village particularly with how bus services have got worse and older people find it difficult to get out and about.

“We have a whole range of groups who use the village hall from the WI, to the garden club and there is also a coffee club who meet here regularly.

“It is great to know that things are going to improve in the village hall because it has run down over a long time so personally, I am excited at the thought of running a community cinema.

“We will show films at a low cost and hopefully we get quite a few people from the village to come and watch them if they wouldn’t be able to otherwise."

The hall, which was built in the 1970/1980s, is not only used by community groups but also by the neighbouring Bishopstone Church of England Primary School for an indoor space for sport as well as exams.

The Awards for All grant ranges between £300 and £10,000 for grassroots and community activity groups that aim to improve life for local people and neighbourhoods.

David, who has lived in the village for the last three decades, truly hopes the boost in cash towards the cinema will offer the community something to look forward to.

“Most people use the village hall from the range of events we have here," he explained. "It does get used a fair amount and hopefully this new community cinema idea will bring more people.

“The role the hall plays in the village is very important as being a central point for people to meet.

“We have tried to do quite a lot of work to it over the years but it needs bringing up-to-date.

“The money will help us provide these facilities for the future and this hall is the lifeblood of the village for a lot of people.”