A POPULAR Dorchester music group is celebrating after finally securing a permanent home.

The 77-year-old Durnovaria Silver Band has been given the green light to move into the former Fordington Methodist Church Hall after raising more than £125,000.

Contracts have been exchanged and the band will move into the Durnovaria Community Hall on January 31.

Musical director Liz Carter described the realisation of months of hard work fundraising and negotiating was a ‘dream come true’.

She said: “It’s out of this world it’s just a dream come true.”

The fundraising was given a massive boost with a grant of £30,000 from the Arts Council England and Mrs Carter wanted to thank all those who had been involved in the efforts to raise money.

She said: “We are grateful to everybody who has put in such an effort, not just from the band but people who donated money for the project, collectors and the general public.”

Mrs Carter added: “We have had some very generous people donating money to us and we are very grateful to the Arts Council England.”

The band hopes that its new home will not just secure the future of the group but will also provide the community with a space that other groups can use.

It is also hoped that it will provide a venue for the organisation of future concerts.

Mrs Carter said the band is looking to hold an open rehearsal evening one Friday a month for people to come along and find out more about what they do.

She said they are also keen to hear from any other groups that would be interested in meeting in the space or using it as a venue for events.

President of the Durnovaria Silver Band Les Phillips said the band securing the church was great news for the town.

He said that there had already been four other groups showing an interest in using the hall so it would be a real community space.

Mr Phillips said: “It’s a great thing for Dorchester and it’s a tremendous achievement for the members of the band.

“We had six concerts in South Street last year and the people of Dorchester were so generous.”

He added that the band also hoped to name a room at the church in memory of former chairman Colin Lucas, who died last year after playing a major part in the early stages of the fundraising campaign.