TEN years after the people of Dinas became the permanent owners of the village's old school, a £220,000 renovation scheme has been completed, making the venue, in the words of its trustees, "one of the best community halls" in the county.

The school was closed by Pembrokeshire County Council in 2002. Yr Hen Ysgol was then gifted to the people of Dinas Cross by the Barony of Kemaes, who gave the land to the community to build a school in the 19th century.

Yr Hen Ysgol is now administered by trustees and run by an elected management committee.

Over the past decade it has been the subject of a £220,000 plus refurbishment project which came to an end this year.

Work this year, funded by a £50,000 Welsh Government Rural Communities grant, has included the creation of a meeting room and heritage display area, renovation of the front room and installation of LED lights.

"Our aim now is to promote the building to the wider community," said committee member Hilary Roscoe.

"This will hopefully generate more income to the hall to contribute to the running costs which will enable us to keep our hire charges as low as possible.

"This obviously benefits classes and users from the local community."

Yr Hen Ysgol now comprises of the hall, with underfloor heating, surround sound audio system, blueray player and a large drop-down screen with digital projector.

Two side rooms, Garn Fawr and Garn Fach, both have their own small kitchen areas one room is set out for committee style meetings the other has a wall mounted monitor.

The former school kitchen has been upgraded with new dishwasher and commercial oven and holds a grade five, food hygiene rating.

The hall can accommodate approximately 75 seated guests, although is currently licenced for 100.

"We recently hosted our first wedding reception," said Hilary. "The whole building was hired for a weekend with food provided by a local caterer and the guests enjoyed a ceilidh band in the evening.

"We hope that other couples will see the hall has an ideal, good value venue for their wedding reception - giving them the opportunity to personalise their own special day."

Anyone wanting to use the hall or help out on the management committee can find out more at www.yrhenysgoldinas.org.uk.