A COMMUNITY hall can now hold larger functions, as well as host more than one group at once, after refurbishing and extending the building.

Much Birch Community Hall, between Hereford and Ross-on-Wye, received a £104,420 grant from the National Lottery's Community Fund which was added to the fundraising pot from the committee's own efforts.

The funding was used to refurbish and extend the village hall, as well as to improve access for people with wheelchairs and pushchairs. It's hoped the improvements will see the building used more frequently.

John Jones, the chairman of the committee, said they listened to what improvements the hall's users would find most beneficial.

"Following consultation with local users and other people, the committee identified the need to upgrade and extend the facilities, for use in the present day and for the future," Mr Jones said.

"Before work began on the latest extension we enlarged the car park, renewed the pavement to the frontage of the premises, constructed ramps to the rear of the building, upgraded the heating system, built the Arthur Harris Room/Community Resource Centre, installed solar panels and double glazing, upgraded the roof insulation and replaced the oil tank.

"We also purchased removable staging for appropriate events."

The refurbished hall was officially opened by the Right Reverend Richard Frith, Bishop of Hereford on Saturday, July 20, as well as to mark the hall's 40th anniversary. Fundraising is still ongoing as in the near future it's hoped the kitchen will also be extended.