A £6,000 Lottery grant has been warmly welcomed by trustees at Areley Kings Village Hall who have been dishing out thousands each year to keep electric radiators switched on all day.

The funding, awarded through the National Lottery's Awards for All Scheme, means the village hall can ditch its outdated heating system which, at a cost of £5,000 per annum, had not managed to get the hall above 17 degrees.

The new radiant heaters soon to be installed are cheaper to install and reputedly much more efficient and cheaper to run than conventional electric heating.

A spokesman from the Trustees of Areley Kings Village Hal said: "The options were to increase the number of radiators which would be even more expensive or to look at alternatives which would hopefully be more efficient and greener.

Kidderminster Shuttle: Areley Kings Village Hall has been able to invest in a new heating system thanks to National Lottery fundingAreley Kings Village Hall has been able to invest in a new heating system thanks to National Lottery funding

"Areley Kings Village Hall is a beautiful venue, the centre of village life and the new heating system will make it even more comfortable and enjoyable for the many organisations for whom it is home, and we are extremely grateful to the Lottery for this."

Since the start of the coronavirus restrictions, the hall has been closed, apart from a brief period when it was used by a Covid-19 support group, therefore the hall has received no income apart from Restriction Support Grants from the local authorities.

That funding enabled trustees to cover the hall's fixed costs such as rates, insurance and electricity, which even though heating was just ticking over to avoid frost damage, was still almost £3,000.

During the closure period, the trustees took the opportunity to decorate and make improvements to the hall, ready to greet visitors once it reopens.

A spokesman added: "We are always mindful of the environmental aspect when making decisions. We already have solar panels and rainwater harvesting equipment, and in an effort to improve our green credentials further we recently organised a tree planting day with our local rainbow and brownie groups, when trees and shrubs were planted around the hall environs to improve the general appearance and provide habitat, food, etc. for birds and wildlife.

"We hope to do more of this in the future, with the town council’s permission, and also to install additional solar panels if the funds allow."