AN EXCITING project to transform a dilapidated old town hall in a rural village into a state-of-the-art facility is well underway.
The former Stirling council building in Balfron Road, Killearn, is undergoing a miraculous transformation which is due to be completed by May this year.
This ambitious project has been made possible by a committed group of volunteers who set up a charity to refurbish the town hall into an amenity that everyone would be proud of.
Ownership of the hall was transferred to Killearn Community Futures Company (KCFC) at the end of last year and the building work started ten months ago after they secured a £1.5 million grant plus £500,000 in donations and other grants.
Treasurer of the village hall committee, a subgroup of KCFC, Caroline Critchley, said: “For over 50 years the hall has been the hub of the village and we wanted this to continue for the future generation.
“Four or five years ago the hall was looking very shabby with no prospect of any money being spent on it.
“The finished building will provide a magnificent venue for weddings and other large events - with views to Loch Lomond on one side, and the Campsies on the other.
“The hall has appeared to be a permanently unfinished building site so it came as a bit of a shock when, after the Christmas break, workmen began to ‘clothe’ the northern end in glass and timber.
“The roof is virtually finished now and the boundary walls are taking shape around the entrances, with the windows overlooking the glebe on site and ready to be fitted.
“As we move towards the completion date, more subcontractors will appear to carry out their smaller portion of the work.
“This may mean that parking will become even more difficult in the top end of the village than before - but we’d ask people to please bear with us - the end result will be worth it.”
The main hall seats 140 and there will be a full commercial kitchen to cater for large numbers.
There will also be a stage, PA and lighting systems for theatrical and music productions and audiences of up to 170.
A self-contained club room in the basement can be used for conferences, training sessions and meetings. It will be equipped with playstations, computers, games room, cinema function plus band recording and filming/editing equipment.
They also hope to have a coffee shop. Visit their website www.killearnvillagehall.co.uk for more information including hire charges.