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Pendle village in SOS to appear on primetime TV show
A TINY village is sending out an SOS to a primetime TV show as part of its bid for £100,000 to breathe new life into its community hub.
Over the past month, millions of viewers have tuned in to watch presenter Sarah Beeny and her team lend a hand to small projects in communities on BBC One’s Village SOS.
Campaigners in Salterforth now hope the show will answer their plea and help them raise funds for the completion of the refurbishment of the village hall.
Jeff Haydock, who is at the helm of the community interest company, believes the project is the key to reinvigorating the village.
He said: “Salterforth has suffered over the years. We have lost our Post Office, phone booth, bakery, newsagent and Co-op – we don’t even have a village shop.
“There is a school and the village hall, but if we’re not careful we’re going to end up a satellite village with no young people and no future.
“Look around, it’s full of grey-haired people in their 50s and 60s.
"Young people can’t afford to buy houses here so they are leaving the village to live elsewhere.
“A lot of people want to fight to put pressure on the authorities to realise, understand and back this village’s future.”
Formerly a Baptist church, the village hall, in Chapel Hill, was earmarked for closure when the congregation dropped to six members.
But campaigners secured it on a 25-year lease, with an option for a further 25 years, safeguarding the church and allowing them to develop a village hall.
The first phase of the refurbishment work is set to be completed by the end of next month, but another £100,000 is needed to cover the costs of phase two.
The Big Lottery Fund has teamed up with the BBC to run the Village SOS Competition, which will give another 250 villages sums of between £10,000 and £30,000.
If producers do not deem Salterforth’s cause worthy of a large sum and an appearance in the show, Mr Haydock said a lesser amount would also make a big difference.
“A few years ago, Salterforth was voted the Best Kept Village in Lancashire and it has deteriorated, but it is on the way back,” he said.