A COMMUNITY group is calling for public support to help it win a £12,000 grant to renovate an unusual green timbered building.

Romanby Women’s Institute, near Northallerton, needs votes to be in with a chance of winning the grant from Marks and Spencer’s Community Energy Fund.

The group has its own hall, a wooden, green building constructed in 1939.

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The current membership of more than 40 women, who range in age from their 30s to 90s, are working hard to raise money to refurbish the hall and protect it for future generations.

President Margaret Whitehead said current fundraising activities included afternoon teas, a scarecrow festival and a Christmas fair, but said £12,000 grant would be the equivalent of about six years of fundraising.

“The WI Hall is an asset to the whole village, it’s used by many groups including the deaf club, Over 60’s Club, a pre-school art group and many more. Maintaining the building is a huge task, and we have high running costs. This grant from M&S Community Energy Fund would allow us to remove our old oil-fired boiler and replace it with air source heating.

“We wouldn’t need to buy any more oil to heat the building - saving us over £1,000 per year - and we would be making the building far more ecologically friendly without the need for a fossil fuel. But to gain the funding we need your vote. As well as the funding bid we are working hard on other fundraising activities, including our afternoon teas, a scarecrow festival and Christmas fair.

“To put it into context this £12,000 from M&S would take us around six years to raise ourselves.”

To support the project just go to; https://www.mandsenergyfund.com/projects/romanby-womens-institute to see the video application and have a valid email address to hand before voting closes on 20th October.

You can find out more about Romanby WI on their Facebook page, including the upcoming Scarecrow Festival in October which will see the village come to life with over 100 scarecrows.