FIERCE fundraising efforts have collected nearly £150,000 for a new village hall in Meysey Hampton.

However villagers are just half way towards their target and have another £150,000 to go before they hit their total.

Over the years the hall, which is more than 80-years-old and has been adapted from an old Nissan hut, has been patched and mended to such an extent that it can be repaired no more.

The community fears that if the fears are not found to build a new hall, activities in the village could go elsewhere and community life in Meysey Hampton will suffer as a result.

Graham Hewitt, chairman of the village hall redevelopment committee, said: "We have competitive tenders in and the total cost looks to be £325,000 but I am hoping that by making some changes in the specifications we can reduce that to £250,000."

The community itself raised £51,000 through events such as quiz nights, jazz evenings, clothing sales and garage sales. Other funds have come through grants and earlier this month Cotswold District Council confirmed it would give £10,000 to the cause through its community projects fund.

Mr Hewitt added: "The village hall is a real community asset.

"It forms the community hub along with the church and the pub. The hall is key, it is the only facility that provides room for all community events such as WI and aerobics.

"It is vital for the local school which doesn’t have its own hall so uses the village one."

The village hall committee successfully applied to Cotswold District Council for planning permission to knock down the hall and build a new one. CDC planners have given the green light but said building work must start within three years. Less than two years are remaining for the village to find the cash.

"I am feeling positive and confident that we can do it," added Mr Hewitt. "We have no choice.

"If we lose the hall, the sustainability of the village becomes weaker. We have already lost our shop and post office, we wont lose our hall."

If you would like to get involved with the fund-raising contact Mr Hewitt on 01285 851022.