Donations are a warm welcome for facility

From left: Trustees Nancy Nichol and Margaret Davison, Jeannie Kielty of the Banks Group, and Steven Hogg, a volunteer at the Club.
From left: Trustees Nancy Nichol and Margaret Davison, Jeannie Kielty of the Banks Group, and Steven Hogg, a volunteer at the Club.
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A busy village hall has been saved from closure during the cold winter months thanks to grant funding for two new boilers.

The committee at the Pegswood Social Welfare Club had been searching for a way to swapthe two failing boilers that powered the well-used venue’s heating system, which they didn’t have the money to replace.

Running repairs on the 10-year-old boilers were costing the group up to £1,000 every year and when one of them stopped working altogether, parts had to be taken from it to keep the other one running.

The club faced the prospect of having to close through lack of heat if the second one also gave up the ghost, but now, thanks to a £3,948 grant from the Banks Group’s Banks Community Fund and additional funding from Awards For All (through the Big Lottery), two new boilers have been installed by regional supplier Compac Services North East Ltd.

The efficient new boilers are also already helping to reduce its heating bills.

Dating back to the 1920s and run by a team of 15 volunteers, Pegswood Social Welfare is used by more than 200 people every week.

It provides a venue for a range of community groups and activities, including ballroom dancing, bingo, bowls and belly dancing. It is also available for hire for private functions.

Susan Heads, administrator at Pegswood Social Welfare Club, said: “Even though they weren’t all that old, our two boilers had been more than a little temperamental for some time and the cost of the repairs that we were having to get done to keep them going was running into four figures.

“When one of them broke down completely, we knew we had to replace them as quickly as possible, as we’d be left with no option but to close the building during the colder months if the other one went and we couldn’t heat it.

“Not only are the new boilers running perfectly, they’re also far more efficient than their predecessors, and even though it’s been a cold winter at times, we’re already seeing reductions in our heating bills as a result of having them in place.

“We couldn’t have afforded to get this work done without the kind support of the Banks Group and Awards For All.”