Generous Banks Mining Grant Provides New Roof For Parish Hall

by Chris Fairbairn

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

BANKS_FAULDHOUSE_CHURCH_ROOF_HPR-7Members of a West Lothian Social Care Group have replaced their old roof with the help of a generous grant of £5,500 awarded from the Banks Community Fund.

The roof of the Parish Hall at St John the Baptists Church in Fauldhouse had deteriorated over the years and concerns were raised over its ability to remain watertight.

Now, thanks to the timely donation the entire roof has been replaced, allowing the church to continue its’ vital role as a hub for the community.

The Banks Rusha Community Fund is a fund set up by Banks Mining, the family-owned mining, business to support community groups and voluntary organisations and environmental projects in the vicinity of Banks’ Rusha surface mine south of Breich, West Lothian.

Parishioners are delighted with the backing from Banks Mining, which they say will benefit the entire community due to the hall being used as a hub by the over 50s Group, Church Gospel Choir, pupils from St Kentigern’s Academy and Senior Citizens Bingo.

Project manager Robert Ovens said: “The Parish Hall was built approximately 45 years ago so naturally BANKS_FAULDHOUSE_CHURCH_ROOF_HPR-8the roof was showing serious signs of wear.

“The grant has made a huge difference in ensuring the exterior and interior of the building is protected and that damage does not occur.

“The Parish Hall is part of the Church and is a real hub for the community. We host children’s birthday parties, weddings and the space is also used as a Polling Station.

“It really is essential to the local community and we are delighted with the help and support we received from Banks.”

The Social Care Group is made up of 12 church members who volunteer their free time to take responsibility for the maintenance and fabric of the building.

The Parish Hall provides affordable facilities in an area where there are few community amenities and high unemployment.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, said: “We’re delighted to help the Social Care Group with the grant to replace the roof. It’s very obvious that the hall is not just used by the group but by the entire community.

“We aim to deliver long term positive benefits to the local communities that host our developments and in this part of West Lothian we are pleased to have supported improving facilities to promote a better quality of community life.”

The Banks Community Fund was established to support community groups and voluntary organisations in the vicinity of the Banks Group’s developments, ensuring that local communities share the benefits from Banks presence in the area. BANKS_FAULDHOUSE_CHURCH_ROOF_HPR-5

Banks has permission to undertake operations at Rusha for a seven-year period. Once coaling is complete the 154-hectare site will be fully restored and landscaped to a mixture of woodland and agriculture.

The company estimates that the Rusha site will contribute more than £5 million to the local economy every year through wages and other supply chain contributions. In addition to the 44 people employed on site, it will also support a number of other off-site jobs in related transport and supplies activity.



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