Drumtullagh Parish Church benefits from Big Lottery Fund

A BALLYMONEY community organisation will be able to save money during the recession and run more activities for local people in its hall thanks to a grant windfall from the Big Lottery Fund.

Drumtullagh Parish Church is one of 22 groups in Northern Ireland awarded grants totalling almost £440,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Energy Efficient Venues programme. The programme, which is now closed for applications, offers Lottery cash to local groups to carry out improvements to their community venues so they make savings on their heating and lighting costs and cut down on their spending.

The church has been awarded a grant of £10,000 to carry out a range of energy saving improvements to its parish hall that will help reduce their bills and make the hall more comfortable for everyone who uses it.

“There’s been nothing done with the hall since it was built at least 40 years ago. It costs a lot of money to heat the hall as it is used all year round and the savings we make on the heating will be a big factor,” said Select Vestry member Liam Davidson.

“We are installing double glazing, cavity and loft insulation and energy efficient lighting throughout the building. The existing internal doors will be replaced, and three toilet units will be upgraded to water conserving units.

“The existing jacket on the hot water tank will also be replaced and the parish will buy new energy efficient white goods for the kitchen. New thermal lined curtains will ensure the heat stays in when the hall is in use on dark winter nights.

“It will be a great job, and we could not have done it without this grant,” said Liam. “The youngsters in the Sunday School will benefit as well as the other groups who use the hall during the week. And the money we save on bills we go straight back into running activities for everyone in the local community such as keep fit and fundraisers.”

Frank Hewitt, the Big Lottery Fund’s NI Chair said: “The Energy Efficient Venues programme supports community organisations to carry out energy efficiency improvements to their venues.

“This has been a very popular programme and we have awarded grants to a range of organisations across Northern Ireland. Organisations should be aware that the programme is now closed for applications.”

The Energy Efficient Venues programme is closed for applications. To find about more about the programme visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk