AN iconic South Cumbrian building is soon to celebrate 150 years of serving the community and could get a new lease of life if shoppers nominate it for cash from a special Co-op fund.

The Millom Pensioners Association has its hall on the corner of St George’s Road and Mainsgate Road and it is popularly known as the Tin Chapel.

It started life in 1870 as a chapel made from wood and sheets of corrugated iron at a time when Millom was a collection of terraced streets under construction for workers at Hodbarrow mines and Millom Ironworks.

Since then it had many uses, including as a school, meeting and concert room, polling station and as a base for many classes and events of all kinds.

Frank McPhillips, chair of Millom Pensioners Association, said: “At a time when funds for community groups and charitable organisations are becoming more difficult to access, we’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity to make a real difference in Millom.

“We are raising funds to refurbish the pensioners hall and to improve the kitchen and toilets to bring them up to modern standards.

“In 2020 the hall will be 150 years old and while it has been many things over the years it is now a well used community hall and hopefully will be for many years to come.

“To help us raise vital funds, we are relying on Co-op members.

“When they buy selected products or services from the Co-op they earn a five percent reward for themselves with a further one percent for local causes like ours.”

Ask for details at the store in Lapstone Road, Millom or contact Mr McPhillips by email on

Five years ago the hall hosted a party to mark the 40th birthday of the nearby Millom hospital.

There was a second big celebration at the hall in 2015 to mark 70 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe - and there are hopes of an event in May this year to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.