The Lauriston Hall has been serving the local community for almost 100 years with recent upgrades providing more ways to connect.
Constructed in the 1930s, Lauriston Hall started as a passion project of two local sisters determined to keep the community together.
Today, the hall is still serving as a key community space.
New upgrades were completed at the hall in 2020 to ensure it can continue to provide key community services, including a space for live music performances, meetings, community social gatherings, exhibitions and private functions.
The hall’s rejuvenation means that almost 300 residents living in Lauriston will have a community hub for generations to come.
The upgrades are supported by the Stronger Regional Communities Program, with Macedon Ranges Shire Council and the Lauriston community, delivering a new roof, new bathroom facilities and a renovated kitchen, along with improved access for people of all abilities. This comes at a time when the hall is attracting an increasing number of visitors, with its Christmas 2021 gathering attracting its largest-ever crowd.
For Lauriston Hall Committee Secretary Jenny Diggle, it’s been an ongoing goal to build and grow the hall as a key community space.
Jenny’s goal is to inspire Lauriston’s younger generation to get involved in the community through the hall, to ensure it remains a social staple into the future.
After getting involved in the committee, Jenny, along with Lauriston neighbor Margot McDonald, helped introduce a Melbourne Cup Day lunch – adding to the annual calendar of events at the hall.
“We started having a luncheon where everyone brings everything and we all frock up and watch races on the big screen – we’ve also introduced a Mother’s Day lunch with live music this year,” Jenny says.
The advantage of having a roster of local events organised by the Committee is that the Lauriston community gets to befriend other locals and businesses in the community can network and grow their community outreach.
“The benefit of these community events is that we get to mix with people we don’t usually meet with in our social circle,” Jenny says.
“It also helps small businesses in the area. Caterers have gotten business after providing food for the hall – a local fencing company has also boosted business after working on the fence here at the hall.”
The hall’s new kitchen, decked out with a brand-new fridge, gas stove and larger oven is also helping local caterers provide food for local events and functions.
The hall has been renovated with a new bathroom and entranceway which has given it a refresh while retaining its heritage features.
“There’s been a lot of wow-factor from the locals who have seen the renovated hall – people love how it looks compared to before,” Jenny says.
“This is the only community asset we have, and it means so much to make it more accessible for people. We’re seeing more families book special events thanks to making the space more usable.”
Renovations like the ones completed at Lauriston Hall are making a huge difference to linking community members together through a range of events that are returning bigger and better.
Read more below about how other community halls are helping local communities across regional Victoria.