READ and Simonstone Village Hall has been officially opened with more than 120 supporters turning out to celebrate keeping the building for the community.

The villagers have been raising money for the last two years to buy and renovate the community space and they enjoyed an exhibition showing the history of the building.

Read Village Hall chairman Greera Norse said: “The official opening was the culmination of more than two years hard work.

“The communities of Read and Simonstone pulled together to purchase and renovate this fabulous community space which had been used for many years as a community hub where local groups and classes met.

“We formed our charity which, through generous donations and fundraising, bought then renovated the building."

Dignitaries and supporters were invited to the opening, including vice lord lieutenant of Lancashire and trustee of the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund Christine Kirk, chair of Read Parish Council Marie Hacking, mayor of the Ribble Valley Stella Brunskill, chair of Simonstone Parish Council David Peat and Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans. Village hall bosses thanked benefactors The Wham Foundation, The Fort Vale Foundation, The Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund, Communities for Lancashire, the RSVH Trustees and villagers who contributed to the scheme.

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