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The Harwellian Club reopens after £47,500 makeover

The Harwellian Club has recently reopened after receiving £47,571 from the Vale of White Horse District Council for a major refurbishment.

Harwell residents are flocking to see the changes made to the club since they applied for developer contributions via the district council.  The Section 106 funds were collected by the Vale of White Horse as part of an agreement with local developers to build new homes in the village.

The club looks unrecognisable inside the lounge bar with two large windows installed bringing in natural light and giving visitors a scenic view of the recreation ground.  A raised seating area has also been built for concerts and entertainment.  When needed, a new partition wall can be used to separate the lounge and the new look sports bar, which now houses a pool and a snooker table for member’s use and league games.

The new sports bar

The committee has decorated both bars with a modern makeover as well as keeping its local heritage on display with British Legion memorabilia in the sports bar and historic photographs of the village in the lounge.

Outside the club, the funding has helped to install an accessible entrance to welcome residents and groups.  A new secured garden area has been created overlooking the recreation ground with a new Aunt Sally pitch for the local league.

New garden area

To help the club to cater for all sorts of events throughout the year, a new commercial kitchen has been installed with updated equipment for caterers providing food for the local rugby, tennis and other sports teams to use. This has enabled new initiatives such as a pop-up restaurant, afternoon teas and Sunday lunches.

During the project, the club organisers were also able to secure funds from other organisations towards new garden seating and some of the catering equipment in the kitchen.

Cllr Judy Roberts, Cabinet Member for Development and Infrastructure at the Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “The club has always been an important part of Harwell village life, and with developer funding, they have managed to make the facilities modern and accessible to all. Negotiating and collecting these developer contributions is vital for our local communities and the funding has allowed the club to welcome back both new and old residents and families and attract even more local groups to use their facilities.”

Debbie Greenfield, Chair of the Harwellian Club, said: “We have worked hard to create a friendly club for our community and our mantra is very much ‘everyone is welcome’.  The money has made a huge difference for us, it has created a springboard to make essential improvements and changes.  It is so pleasing to see people from across our village community enjoying the club’s new look and the upgraded facilities – that’s the difference this kind of funding can make. We look forward to welcoming even more new members as we build for the future.”

Cllr Hayleigh Gascoigne, councillor for Harwell at the Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “I’m really pleased the funds have helped the club to make improvements.  The new windows make it feel light and airy inside and I think the new garden area will be popular in the summer months!”

Cllr Sarah Medley, councillor for Harwell at the Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “The club looks fantastic after the recent renovations, which have enabled the club to offer a brilliant programme of events for the community to enjoy – everything from bingo and quiz nights to pop-up restaurants and live music gigs!  Well done to the committee and the team of volunteers for their countless hours of hard work for the club – they’ve definitely achieved their vision of making The Harwellian a friendly and welcoming community club for everyone.”