AFTER 10 years of tireless work, the upgrade of St. Thomas’ Church Hall has been completed with the venue re-opened as Ty Price, St Thomas’ Community Hall last week.

The new hall, named after former vicar of Overmonnow Reverend Norman Price was packed out on Wednesday, 24th July to celebrate the occasion.

In 2006 it was identified by St Thomas’ Church, who owns the hall, that it was in dire need of an upgrade.

Since that point the community has come together to source more than £500,000 to make the redevelopment possible. This included endless amounts of fundraising by the Hall Redevelopment Committee and the public as well as contributions from Welsh Government, Monmouthshire County Council, town and community councils, businesses and charity.

This was all used to develop the impressive new venue, designed by Richard Hardwicke, which has been refurbished and extended. There are now four rooms including the enlarged main hall, an improved entrance, new toilets and modern facilities.

Project coordinator Steve Martin led the celebrations last Wednesday, introducing a number of speakers from the community who played important roles in the development.

They spoke about the journey required to finish the hall, about what the new hall will be used for and its place in the community and about the people that made it happen.

Mr Martin said: “The foundations for the work and the building of the new hall were laid back through the years, I joined on later, about five years ago.

“We had a clear vision, we wanted to serve the community and ensure that the hall was owned by everyone involved. The church community and others got behind it so we have had a really good commitment.”

Rev Canon David McGladdery, vicar of Monmouth and Area Dean followed and said:“This is more than a church hall, it is a resource to be shared with our community in Overmnonnow.

“Ty Price is a local resource which the people of St Thomas can use in practical ways, ways to benefit the community.

“Ty Price is a visible place of hospitality where all who live and work in this community of Overmonnow and beyond in the town of Monmouth are welcome. Everyone is welcome to use and share our space because it is your space too.

“It is a place which can be used by all sorts of community groups and individuals, it is a place to celebrate, it’s a place where people can learn and gather to be human and to be a community.

“It’s a place which will encourage community support groups to work in partnership for good of this community.”

There are already a raft of plans in place for uses of the hall, these include morning and afternoon drop-in sessions, an advice service and surgeries for local councillors and police.

Christians Against Poverty (CAP) will offer a money course, life skills course and a job club while parents groups and Brownies, Rainbows, Guides, Rangers will also use the facilities.

It is available for community groups and private hire and more information can be found on the website

The celebration was finished with the cutting of a ribbon by local residents, young and old and a relative of Reverend Norman Price.

The other speakers on the day included Bishop Richard Pain the Bishop of Monmouth, MCC leader councillor Peter Fox, former churchwarden Alec Riches, finance officer for the project Bill Leddington, team Vicar Rev. Catherine Haynes, Elaine Loe from CAP, Maggie Riches from the mother’s union and Mark Walton, director of Bridges Centre.

‘The ribbon was cut by local residents Eira Price (widow of the late Canon Norman Price), Maud Vickers (who has lived all her 91 years in the immediate streets and remembers using the hall when it was a British Restaurant during the Second World War, and Thomas and Issy Beard (who have been regular users of the old hall for all their lives) with help from David Price and Sue White.