Historic building reopens after major revamp

Asda Rushden donation to Harrold Institute
Asda Rushden donation to Harrold Institute

A charity in Harrold has received a donation of £11,500 from the Asda Foundation, which has helped to provide the finishing touches to the recent revamp of a historic building.

The Harrold Institute, built in 1901, acts as one of the last remaining links to the strong leather making history associated with the village. In 1911 a hall extension was added to the institute for the workers relaxation, learning and leisure time.

Over the years, the interior of the hall became outdated and the much loved building once used for an extensive range of activities by community groups and clubs and became inaccessible to villagers.

The charity group had already sourced a staggering £400,000 that covered the majority of the work needed to not only preserve the building but enable a complete makeover of the kitchen, bar and toilet areas as well installation of disabled access.

However, the work proved more costly than expected, and the group ran out of funds before being able to put the final touches on the sentimental structure.

Thanks to the Asda Foundation, the extra grant enabled the provision of a medical room, equipped with emergency power, as well as hearing loop audio systems for hearing impaired visitors allowing the charity to make their community dream of a fully functional centre a reality.

The application to the Asda Foundation by the Harrold Institute was supported by store colleagues at the Washbrook Road Asda Store in Rushden. The Harrold Institute saw its doors reopen for hire to the public on September 4.

Julie Ward, Asda Foundation manager, said: “We see the foundation as one of the many ways to give something back to the communities that support us. That’s why we lend a hand to the wide range of good causes with which our colleagues are involved, sharing their passion and helping to make a difference through a variety of projects across the UK.

“Supporting smaller, local applications such as the Harrold Institute is really important to us – and we hope it will make a real difference within the local community in Harrold.”

Nigel Grout, trustee of Harrold Institute, said: “For us it came at the perfect time and the outcome has been fantastic. We not only wanted to preserve the building for future generations but make it accessible to everyone in the community.

“Thanks to the generous donations and the final help from the Asda Foundation, the Harrold Institute is now back with the community and ready to be used once again,”

Set up in 1988, the Asda Foundation is a registered charity that aims to have a positive impact on local communities, making independent grants to provide support to a range of local good causes, chosen by Asda’s community life colleagues throughout the UK.

It funds charitable projects and activities what have the ability and potential to achieve change for the better – with the aim of making a significant difference to local communities and the people who live there, both now and in the future.

To find out more about the Asda Foundation, or eligibility for submitting a funding application, please contact the Community Life Champion at your local Asda store, or visit http://charities.asda.com/asda-foundation/