AN official opening party for Cullingworth's new village hall is being staged this month.

It will celebrate the completion of the Lodge Street property, a project begun in May 2013, with construction finishing in February this year. Work is underway to fit out the interior.

Kathryn Toledano, deputy chairman of Cullingworth Village Hall Renewal Committee, said: "The building includes space for Cullingworth Preschool, a new café called Dancino’s and two halls for hire.

"This facility has been built through the efforts of the local community in Cullingworth. It’s fantastic."

The property was designed by Jason Lynn from Langtry-Langton, and constructed by Bermar Building Ltd, both Bradford-based firms. It replaces an old, wooden building which was in poor condition.

Ms Toledano said: "We knew that if we didn't replace it we wouldn't have a community centre."

She said 10 residents formed a group in 2013 with the aim of finding the necessary funds for an entirely new property.

Among those involved was renewal committee chairman Jill Logan, management committee chairman Janet Toner and management committee treasurer Jill Smith.

The scheme received grants from numerous sources, including David Wilson Homes, which provided £411,000 via a section 106 agreement with Bradford Council. It also gained a lottery-funded grant of £268,000.

Cullingworth Village Hall contributed over £100,000, drawn from reserves accumulated over 10 years.

Other funds came from Garfield Weston Foundation, £35,000, the Bernard Sunley Foundation, £10,000, a Bradford Council loan, £50,000 and Cullingworth Preschool, £40,000.

Ms Toledano said: "We're still raising money to fit out the building.

"So many people in the village have bought 'bricks', raising over £8,000. The artwork installation for the Buy-A-Brick donations will be on view at the official opening. It includes over 400 names, was designed by Steve Manthorp and paid for with a large donation from Councillor Simon Cooke.

"Loads of folk have come forward to help with the groundworks, and we're indebted to Bradford Council officers who've provided great advice and support to help us achieve this massive project.

"It's a great legacy for the village and will be a very busy building. The land lease we've got from Bradford Council is for 125 years."

The opening party is at 3pm on April 27, and will feature a bar, snacks and cake. Admission is free.

Cash donated to help finish the inside the new hall includes £3,000 for kitchen equipment, from the local lodge of the Freemasons, Scientific Lodge No 439.

It was presented at the Yorkshire Masons' Area One Charity Committee’s annual presentation evening last month. (March)

*Other donors include: HCF, chicken factory in Cullingworth, £4,200 for blinds; Howdens Joinery, £1,500 worth of kitchen units installed free of charge by the Richmond family and colleagues; Cullingworth Gala Association, £3,000 for new tables; LiveView CCTV and Guardian Security Installations, free installation of CCTV and alarms; Cullingworth Village Council, £5,000 for modular staging; The Craven Trust, £1,000 for a gantry from which theatre lighting and a sound system will be attached; Cullingworth Amateur Dramatics Society, donation of theatre lighting; Sir George Martin Trust, donation of £1,000 for signage.