CONSTRUCTION of Whiteparish’s new £1million community hall is nearly complete.

Builders are due to hand over the new Memorial Centre to the trustees next Friday (January 24).

Project leader Linda Palmer said: “The new building will be a fantastic benefit to the whole village.”

Developers moved on to the Memorial Ground site adjoining Whiteparish Church last February to commence work on the new building which is a tribute to the villagers who died in the two world wars The centre replaces the old village hall which was demolished last October.

At the end of Second World War villagers in Whiteparish collected half-crowns, with the intension of creating a memorial for the fallen of both world wars and £625 was collected.

“It was decided that, rather than build a classic memorial, they would buy a piece of land that could continue to provide sport and recreation facilities for the living.

“Some years ago, people started to suggest that the village hall had run its course: the boiler was temperamental, the roof frequently leaked and maintenance costs were ever increasing,” said Linda.

“It was agreed by villagers that we would sell the existing village hall site and build a new Memorial Centre on the Memorial Ground by way of replacement –using the sale proceeds as a good start on the fund-raising.”

She explained that the Memorial Centre’s trustees had applied for a wide range of grants and the village had staged various fund-raisers to pay for the new building- which has a main hall, with a full-size badminton court, changing rooms and showers, plus a kitchen and toilet facilities.