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They did it themselves and saved £30,000

PUBLISHED: 14:33 19 March 2008 | UPDATED: 14:27 14 July 2010

A rural community is keeping the costs of a new village hall to a minimum by turning their hands to DIY.

Already villagers at Wacton reckon they have knocked £30,000 off a £100,000 plus bill by doing loads of the work themselves.

A rural community is keeping the costs of a new village hall to a minimum by turning their hands to DIY.

Already villagers at Wacton reckon they have knocked £30,000 off a £100,000 plus bill by doing loads of the work themselves.

And when they tackle the main building, which will replace the existing wooden hall, they are confident of saving a similar amount. It means through hard work and dedication of the project team and volunteers, the small community could end up with a spacious, modern facility for about £140,000 all told - a fraction of the outlay if professionals had been employed to do the whole job from start to finish.

“What we are currently working on is the office block, and you are probably looking at a cost of around £75,000. The amount of money we have saved is very good, as you could easily have added another thirty grand on that,” explained John Johnson ,

a building surveyor for the City of London, who was leading Sunday's work party.

“The second phase is demolishing the existing building and replacing it with the main hall which is likely to cost slightly less.”

The project, spearheaded by resident Calvin Goreham, has been in the pipeline for approaching 20 years. Being a small parish, it took time to raise the necessary funds to start work, as well as producing designs that met all the criteria.

Meanwhile the old hall has become so dilapidated it can no longer be used, the roof leaking so badly that umbrellas were needed when it rained. And Mr Johnson said they could do with more volunteers in order to keep up the momentum.

It is hoped to finish the initial building, which features a small hall and meeting room, toilets, kitchen and parish office, by this summer.

At the weekend four volunteers were hard at work, including local parish councillor Maurice Read who was sawing plasterboard to size.

“I don't have any building skills. I just come along and say 'What do you want me to do?' It is a community project and we have ladies arrive, roll up their sleeves and do heavy-duty work like laying floor boards,” he said.

Funding is still required to complete the project includes providing a car park at the site.

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