Victory Hall

Victorian Village Hall in the heart of the village of Dalston, near Carlisle.

Victory Hall is a much-used Victorian Village Hall in Dalston, near Carlisle. The object was to give a full overhaul and build an extension to provide modern facilities, as the Hall had not been updated for 60 years.

Working with the architect and Building Control, McKnights & Son increased the size of the building by 30 per cent. Providing new kitchen facilities has enabled more people to use the space, and the local community are delighted with the result. New Gents & Ladies toilets, a new electric heating system, upgraded radiators and redecoration throughout have given Victory Hall a new lease of life and the hall’s Trustees are thrilled.

Building regulations

As the hall sits in a conservation area between residential properties with restricted access, careful planning was required to enable this project could run smoothly. McKnights & Son worked closely with Building Control, who were able to assist where technical issues arose with the Architects drawings. The village hall remained in use while it was being refurbished, so work had to be planned around bookings. Regular meetings were held with Building Control, the Victory Hall committee and the architect, who worked together to make this project a success.


Architect and client meetings were held regularly, to discuss how to maximise the energy efficiency of this old building. All lighting was changed to LED and timing sensors were fitted where possible. New radiators were fitted and insulation installed. Roof windows and sun tunnels/light wells were installed to enable more natural light into the hall. Some existing windows on the front elevation had to be carefully removed and repaired before being re-fitted, as the conservation officer advised these could not be replaced. Other windows were replaced, including some that required timber sash, in order to meet conservation area requirements. The work done to improve energy efficiency exceeded SAP requirements.

Site & project

This project involved thorough planning to ensure the health and safety of everyone involved. There were regular on-site meetings teamed with daily discussions, and all the contractor’s risk assessments were inspected and monitored. There was a clear program of work and regular communication between the parties to ensure it was followed. The budget was carefully managed and the project was completed on time and within budget

Innovation & problem

The biggest issues for this project related to the close proximity of residential homes, the need to work around the hall being used by the community, deliveries timed to avoid school traffic and restricted access for deliveries. All these issues were successfully overcome.
Where electrical heaters were fitted these were thermostat and time-controlled and, together with a new water heater cylinder system, lead to reduced costs and much greater efficiency. Anti-slip Altro flooring was installed and Air blade hand driers were fitted in the toilets.


Victory Hall is used by a wide range of groups with a variety of different needs. We ensured there was level access throughout and a new disabled toilet, with a fully accessible shower/wet room. Dalston has a large community of senior citizens & the aim was to allow ease of access for everyone.

In Summary

The aim was to make the Victorian Victory Hall suitable for the 21st century. The work had to be completed before the Annual village show, and McKnights & Son Builders worked hard to complete the project two weeks ahead of schedule.

A new kitchen, storage areas, modern toilets and a shower has enabled more community groups to use the hall. Weddings are now being booked and outside caterers can use the facility. A bigger space with low running costs, easy maintenance and durable surfaces better suits the need of the community.

The work was completed on time and on budget, while being considerate of neighbours and those using the Victory Hall. McKnight & Son has received excellent feedback from the committee and wider community, who all consider it a job well done!