A £50,000 extension to a popular village hall will provide much-needed facilities for the community.

Work has begun on the new changing, shower and toilet facilities in Witton Park Village Hall.

The scheme, which has been funded by Section 106 money, is expected to take about ten weeks to complete.

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Once finished, it will be used by Witton Park Football club and visit teams and it is also hoped exercise classes will be able to operate from the village hall.

Oliver Graham, from Groundwork North East & Cumbria, which is managing the build, said: “It is a nice scheme. This is what the community asked for and it is good to be able to deliver it.

“Anyone will be able to use the facilities. It will not be exclusive for any group.

“Witton Park Residents Association, which runs the village hall, has been supportive of the project throughout.

“The community came together to build the village hall about 20 years ago so it is nice it is now getting the extension.

Stan Thexton, manager of Witton Park Football Club, said: “This will make a big difference to us as we have no toilets or electricity next to the pitches.

“When the village hall was built it was always our intention to add this block but with one thing and another it never happened.

“We are doing really well so it will be nice to have these facilities for when visiting teams come to play.”

Coun Yorke, who together with Councillor Christine Wilson helped get the project up-and-running, said: “We are delighted we have been able to help.

“The football club approached us some time ago about the need for these facilities. The village hall is a fantastic building but it did not have anything like what is being built now.”

He added: “Durham County Council is going through a lot of pain so it’s nice we are finally seeing it come to fruition.

“It shows we can make a difference in communities like this one.”