A new bar and meeting room opened in a historic building.

The Mayor of Loughton, Cllr Stephen Murray, officially opened Buckleys at Lopping Hall, Loughton on Monday, April 29.

The hall is a key venue for many community, theatrical and arts groups, and the £50,000 refurbishment is part of efforts to keep it open at a time when funding shortages mean many local venues are closing down.

The hall was given to the community as compensation for the loss of ‘Lopping rights’ in 1878 and built for £3,236.

It was designed by Edmond Egan and opened in 1884.

Mayor of Loughton, Mr Stephen Murray said it is one of the most important buildings in the town.

He added: "It is very clear what a great community role this hall has and will continue to have for community, theatrical and arts groups based in and around Loughton”

Much of the money came from Buckley family, who have a long association with Lopping Hall and the Loughton Amateur Dramatic Association.

Other improvements to the hall have been made, such as state of the art lighting for theatre groups, and more work is scheduled if funds are made available.