�1m for new-look Ripple Hall

RIPPLE Community Hall has been awarded a government grant of almost �1million to extend and refurbish. The �932,750, from the government s community assets scheme, aims to create an improved centre for community and voluntary groups which use the hall in

RIPPLE Community Hall has been awarded a government grant of almost �1million to extend and refurbish.

The �932,750, from the government's community assets scheme, aims to create an improved centre for community and voluntary groups which use the hall in St Erkenwald Road, Barking.

Cllr Val Rush, executive member for safer neighbourhoods and communities, said: "We are very pleased that the government has supported this bid, which will assist local community groups to expand their activities, and will help to meet the needs of our residents."

The grant will be used to refurbish the ground floor, construct a two-storey extension, provide open plan office space, create a meeting room and training space, install a better lift and open a community caf�.


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But the scheme has not been greeted with approval by everyone as groups using the hall will have to find a new home for up to 12 months while the work takes place.

Ken Morum, 60, of Becontree Avenue, runs ballroom dancing classes at the hall and will be forced to move during the works.

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He said: "The refurbishment is going to cause me a lot of aggravation.

"We have nowhere else to go and the council are supposed to find another location for us, but they haven't found one yet.

"I am very disappointed as there is no guarantee of us finding anywhere else and I have over 50 people, nearly all pensioners, attending my classes."

A Barking and Dagenham Council spokesman said: "The council has had no difficulty in finding alternative accommodation in similar situations in the past.

"The council has 11 other community halls and leisure centres, therefore we would hope to find a suitable location for the dance class and other groups during the re-development of Ripple Community Hall.

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