A congregation will celebrate today as the hall of a Leyland church will reopen after a £155,000 revamp.
Leyland Baptist Church, on Leyland Lane, has been transformed into a new community facility - after a 20-year wait from church members.
The original hall was completed in 1975 and for the last two decades, members have pushed to make this major refurbishment happen.
The lack of a toilet for disabled users, wheelchair-width corridors, and poor kitchen facilities have caused user numbers to drop, threatening its long-term future.
But now, the project which began in June, has created a new entrance lobby by the hall’s car park, new toilets, including one for disabled users, a new kitchen and a new office suite for the SLEAP homeless charity based in the building.
The work has also greatly increased the building’s energy efficiency and heat insulation value, reducing its carbon footprint.
The Reverend Tony Crawford said: “After many years of hard work, planning and fundraising, it is great to see the work is now complete and our doors are open to everyone.
“So I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped make this all happen.”
When it started to develop the plans for this scheme, the church’s close relationship with The Leyland Project helped the process of consulting local residents and organisations.
The Progress Housing Group, the Children’s Centre, the police, and councils all expressed their support for the project.
The hall is used during the week by organisations such as Weightwatchers, the Lancashire Homelessness Forum, parent and toddler groups, a new internet café and The Leyland Lacemakers, as well as being available for hire by resident for events.
The hope is that new community groups will begin using the community hall now.
Funding for the work came from church members, The Lancashire Environmental Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation, The Congregational Trust, the All Churches Trust and The Veolia Environmental Trust.