Community good causes grab a slice of Lottery windfall.

TWO North Devon-based projects have been awarded a share of £3.3million South West BIG Lottery Funding.

A £498,200 grant to Swimbridge Village Hall will pave the way for an extension and improvement scheme that will increase the hall’s capacity and create a new kitchen, toilets, foyer and multi-use room.

Andy Comerford, chairman of the village hall committee, said: “An enormous effort involving many, many hours of individual commitment on behalf of the community has been rewarded in the very best way possible.

“The new facilities will give us additional space to run a youth club, lunch club, coffee mornings, training, indoor sports and so much more.”

Architects from Barnstaple-based David Wilson Partnership say the project has been five years in the making, has full planning consent and is ‘very nearly ready to go’.

Building work is expected to start in November and the village hall will be open to the public in August 2014.

Meanwhile, £355,439 has been awarded to Living Options Devon to launch a new mobile service to help combat isolation among people with sight and hearing loss in rural communities.

The See Hear Centre has been providing a service from its base in Barnstaple for the last 10 years but a new See Hear on Wheels (SHoW) bus will take a full range of sensory equipment out to people in rural communities.

Anne Clayton, manager at the See Hear Centre, said: “This funding will enable us to combat isolation, counter the practical barriers to travel associated with sight and hearing loss and increase peoples’ independence, by taking our services out and about.”