Asbestos scare forces closure of Newport Village Hall

ASBESTOS has been discovered in the roof of Newport village hall, leaving the community with a £10,000 clean-up bill.

Peter Gibson, chairman of the village hall committee, is fighting hard to find a quick resolution to the problem and will meet with the parish council on Monday to try and get more money.

The hall has been closed since February 18, when contractors working on the ceiling discovered asbestos in the roof, and the hall has already received a lot of support from the community.

Mr Gibson said: “We were in the process of having a new ceiling and light installed but the contractors quickly saw the asbestos which came as quite a blow.

“We’ve spent a lot of money renovating our hall and this was a cost we did not see coming, about £10,000, but we had no option other than to close the hall.”

The village had replaced its old asbestos cement roof with a metal one five years ago but the contractors failed to remove all of it.

There is no recourse for the hall, as the contractor has since gone into liquidation and it is not insured to cover the cost.

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Approximately £250,000 has been spent on renovating the building, which was built by the community fifty years ago, and this is the first major set-back in the project.

Village clubs and organisations which normally use the hall for meetings, events and activities have had to make alternative arrangements while the building is shut.

Mr Gibson said: “We are driving this through as fast as we can.

“We are hoping for a very speedy resolution as we feel we are letting down a lot of people who have booked our hall and we have a lot of bookings coming up.

“Our work has so far gone without any problems and this is quite a set back which we didn’t expect.”