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Paper helps residents purchase village green

A weekly paper has helped a local community win its battle to buy its own village green.

Villagers in Brilley, Herefordshire, had a chance to raise money to buy their old school field a year ago but faced the daunting prospect of finding £30,000.

But the target was reached with help from the local Hereford Times and a £10,000 cheque from its parent company, Newsquest Gannett.

The field formally changed hands this week and will now become a community space for fetes, festivals and even weddings.

Times editor Liz Griffin said: “There’s huge competition for the grants so we’re delighted to have been able to help the people of Brilley in this way.

“Losing the village school was a devastating blow but they’ve picked themselves up and proved that something good can be salvaged from the sadness.

“The field is a beautiful amenity in a stunning area that can now continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.”

Campaigner Sheila Hobden added: “The new village green will be a great asset to Brilley.

“It is next to the village hall and so can be used for outdoor events, children can play safely, a marquee can be erected for a wedding party or you can just stand in the middle of it to admire one of the best views of Herefordshire.”

The Gannett Foundation distributes around £500,000 annually across the UK. The campaigners in Brilley were among hundreds of groups across the UK that apply through their local newspaper for a share of the cash.