Lottery grant for Sarsfields club

A Derrytrasna community organisation will be able to carry out energy saving improvements to its community hall thanks to a grant from the Big Lottery Fund.

Sarsfields Gaelic Athletic Club has been awarded a grant of £44,347 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Energy Efficient Venues programme to carry out a range of improvements to their hall so they can cut down on their heating and energy costs.

The improvements will include putting in a new heating system, replacing windows and doors and carrying out a thermal imaging survey to assess how well the venue is insulated and whether further work is required.

PR Officer Gerard Smyth explained that the money the group saves by making the improvements will go back into the upkeep of the hall and running the activities and events they offer the local community.

“Our hall is based in the small rural townland of Derrytrasna, just outside Lurgan,” said Gerard. “This is the only community hall in the area and it’s used by local people every day of the week for a range of sports and activities.

“We hold loads of things from a senior citizens group to a youth club, dancing lessons guitar classes, birthdays, concerts and meetings for other community organisations.

“But we have reached a stage where parts of the hall are in need of a bit of an upgrade, there hasn’t been much maintenance since the hall was built back in the ‘80’s.

“The improvements will mean the hall will be a lot warmer and more comfortable for local people who use it and it will be a lot more cost effective.

“We will be able to reduce our heating and electricity costs, which are quite high at the moment, and the money we save will go back into the range of services we offer local people. We are also hoping to be able to offer local people some new activities.

“This means a lot to the community and we are so grateful for the funding. It will make a huge difference.”

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 that help them make savings during this difficult period of recession, and have a positive effect on the environment.”

“The programme is open for applications, but organisations should be aware that it closes at 12 noon on Friday 1 June 2012.”

To find about more about the Energy Efficient Venues programme visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk, or call the Big Lottery Fund’s Information and Events team on 028 9055 1455.