More than £20,000 has been shared among four projects in Daventry District as part of a scheme to boost the business offering of community buildings.
Lilbourne Village Hall, Naseby Village Hall, the Brixworth Centre, and Moulton Parish Council received grants totalling £23,495 under Daventry District Council’s Rural Business Hub project.
The scheme invited community groups to apply for grants of up to £10,000 to make adaptations to buildings to enhance their business offering, improve local services, or develop employment opportunities.
Councillor David James Daventry District Council’s economic, regeneration and employment portfolio holder said: “Our council has an ongoing commitment to develop and support the rural economy, so we’re delighted to be able to share this funding among these four local projects.
“These improvements will not only enhance these important community facilities, they will create opportunities for the small businesses that use them and provide additional services for local people, which is precisely what we hoped to achieve through this initiative.”
Lilbourne Village Hall was awarded £10,000 to help upgrade its facilities including new heating and lighting, a new suspended ceiling, refurbished toilets and the installation of new audio-visual equipment.
They are hoping the improvements will help attract small businesses such as fitness instructors, educators, and craft fairs to the hall, which will also be marketed to local businesses for off-site meetings and training days.
Naseby Village Hall will use its £3,250 grant to help install a projector, speakers and a screen in the upstairs meeting hall, plus acoustic wall panels and thermal blinds in the main hall, improving it as a venue for live performances and business meetings, and enabling plans for a new cinema club.
A grant of £4,245 was awarded to Moulton Parish Council towards its project to install new LED touchscreens in each of the meeting rooms in Moulton Community Centre, making them more suitable for teaching and giving presentations.
The Brixworth Centre has received £6,000 towards the installation of a new floor with better insulation, which they hope will help them market the space to micro-businesses such as evening exercise and fitness classes as well as school holiday activity clubs.
Roger Brown, chairman of trustees for the Brixworth Centre, said: “Improving the centre flooring will not only enhance the offering of our current business and social activities but allow us to reach out to new users within Brixworth and the surrounding area.
“Without the Rural Business Funding this opportunity would have taken much longer to realise; to the detriment of not only the centre itself but also a rapidly expanding local community.
"Having seen the other projects, it shows that this kind of funding is encouraging a creative business attitude within the villages of Daventry District which can only bode well for the future.”