Transformation for popular village hall

Thanks to a grant of over £50,000 from Biffa Award, Boston Spa’s village hall has undergone a transformation.

The tired and dated main foyer and toilets have been totally refurbished. The foyer is now spacious and welcoming and the toilets have been modernised and now include baby changing facilities. The accessible toilet also benefits from updated facilities. We cannot wait to have an official opening and show our lovely community of users, when Government guidelines allow.

Carol Taylor, Chair Boston Spa Village Hall Management Committee:

“The Hall is at the heart of the Boston Spa community and has been in existence since the early 1900s” said C. “Due to budget limitations, the facilities had not been updated for some time, so we are really grateful to Biffa Award for their generous grant. We’re looking forward to welcoming our community back in due course.”

Terry Gaussen, Parish Councillor and local resident:

As a long time village hall user it has been really gratifying to see the completed alterations and renovations to the foyer and toilet facilities. The previously cramped main entrance to the Hall and cafe is now transformed into welcomingly open area which forms a useable extra congregating space, with the added bonus of full wheelchair

“The renewal of the old, dated female and male lavatories, was very necessary and the new layout, fixtures, fittings and decoration is so much better for all hall users, for ease of use and hygiene. The modernisation of the Accessible facilities together with ambulant, baby changing and similar provision was also much needed. So, it is great to see these improvements which are a credit to the Village Hall and will stand it in good stead in future years.”

Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award Grants Manager:

“At Biffa Award we are proud to support projects which are so integral to the life of their community, bringing people together and giving them the opportunity to share experiences. Projects like this provide the means for a community to thrive.”

Habitat secured for endangered butterfly

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust is delighted to announce that, thanks to the generous response of the public to the plight of the endangered marsh fritillary butterfly, a new project to restore this rare species can now go ahead in 2021.

An urgent appeal to raise £49,200 by the end of February, the final amount needed on top of grant funding from Biffa Award in order to secure the purchase of 44 acres of land at Upper Minety, North Wiltshire, was launched late last year. The land is earmarked to provide vital habitat for the rare, but once flourishing, Marsh fritillary butterfly and will quadruple the size of the Trust’s existing wildlife reserve at Emmett Hill.

Donations from many quarters exceeded the fundraising target ahead of schedule in February, helping to unlock £442,941 of further funding from Biffa Award, a multi-million-pound fund that helps to build communities and transform lives by awarding grants to environmental projects across the UK.

This funding will enable the Trust to proceed with the purchase of the site, and this year will see the start of the changes aimed at supporting the butterfly’s long-term recovery – in particular a new management plan to seed devil’s-bit scabious, the butterfly’s chosen food source across the two adjoining sites.

Speaking on behalf of the Trust, Debbie Bentley said: 

“We are absolutely thrilled at the level of public support for this campaign. When we launched the appeal just before Christmas, we weren’t sure if we’d reach our target in these difficult times. We’re so grateful for the concern shown for this butterfly and the generous personal donations that we have received. Our thanks go out to everyone involved, particularly to Biffa Award for recognising the importance of this project”.

Rachel Maidment, Biffa Award Grants Manager added:

“Biffa Award is extremely privileged to be able to support Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s project to purchase 44.6 acres of land to support the long-term recovery of the rare Marsh fritillary butterfly. It is hugely important that Biffa Award continues to fund projects like this which seek to restore declining species and protect and enhance the habitats that support them. Through our Partnership Grants Scheme we are able to make significant grants to projects that introduce, conserve or protect our wildlife, paving the way for nature’s recovery on a large scale.”