A COMMUNITY group which has breathed new life into Stretford have been awarded a prestigious communal award.

The Friends of Stretford Public Hall had their hard work and dedication recognised when they were awarded the Power of Community Award by Locality, a national body which supports community networks and encourages them to thrive.

Annoushka Deighton, the chairman of the friends group said: “We’re thrilled to receive this award as it recognises the fantastic community in Stretford. The progress we have made so far could not have been achieved without the tireless hard work and overall enthusiasm that hundreds of local residents have given to the project to date.”

The judges recognised the efforts of local residents who not only saved Stretford Public Hall but also through a community share offer are now transforming it into a place for the community to come together.

To achieve their takeover, more than 800 people invested £150,000 to fund the restoration work, which was also matched with £100k funding from Power to Change via the Community Shares Booster Programme.

The building’s ballroom is now being renovated for a variety of community functions and facilities also include artist studios, a therapy centre, and weekly classes for local residents.

Tony Armstrong, the boss of Locality, said: “Celebrating success is really important and it is fantastic that we have created the first ever awards this year to recognise the amazing work our members do.

“Community organisations are in the front line of responding to many of the challenges we have as a country. They battle to balance scarce resources and rising demand for their services with ingenuity and steadfast commitment.

“The uniqueness and talent of the award winners is truly heartening and inspirational. Huge congratulations to the Friends of Stretford Public Hall.”