A CAMPAIGN by a parochial church council has seen thousands of pounds invested in a 19th century building at the heart of a village community.

The Action Andrew project was set up to encourage more people to use the Grade II listed St Andrew's Church in Sadberge, near Darlington, beyond its uses for church services and functions.

As part of the campaign, members of the St Andrew's Parochial Church Council have been working to improve facilities and decor at the place of worship to provide a warm welcome visitors old and new.

The PCC approached County Durham-headquartered Banks Renewables for support for its work from the community benefits fund linked to its nearby Moor House wind farm, and was awarded a £2,228 grant to pay for the replastering and redecoration of the church’s interior.

Painter and decorator James Franks was given the contract to carry out the required work with the PCC already receiving plenty of positive feedback from Sadberge residents and visitors from further afield.

Banks’ Moor House wind farm has been operational since the start of 2018 and generates more than 36,470 MW of green electricity every year, which is enough to meet the annual energy requirements of more than 9,350 homes, and by doing so, displaces almost 12,700 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the electricity supply network per annum.

The wind farm is set to provide more than £750,000 of community funding over 25 years.

Millie Scaife, a member of Parochial Church Council at St Andrew’s, said: “We’re very proud of the history of our church and the contribution it already makes to community life, and the PCC has been working extremely hard to encourage as many people as possible to make use of it.

“We’ve already added new kitchen and bathroom facilities which give us greater capacity to host different activities and events, and being able to now get the church re-plastered and redecorated has made a terrific difference to the environment we can offer.

“We’re now well set to host bigger concerts and events, and have already held an exhibition of textile banners created by both local people and professional artists that was really well received."

Community groups or volunteers near the Moor House wind farm can direct grant enquires to 0191-3786342.