Holy Islands residents are hoping the influx of thousands of visitors to see the return of the Lindisfarne Gospels will help to fund a new village hall.
The manuscript was written in 700 AD by monks living in the island’s priory and is on display at Durham University until the end of September.
Trustees of the Holy Island Village Hall Restoration Fund (HIVH) hope donations from visitors will help fund the construction of a new community centre for the village.
Local island residents have been generating funds for the past 13 years and to date have raised some £280,000 to remove the dilapidated hall and put in the foundations for a new one.
However, a further £750,000 is needed to complete the project and reinstate the centre, which is seen as a vital social hub for the community.
David O’Connor, Holy Island Village Hall Trustee, said: “The island receives over 650,000 visitors each year, who travel to the island to experience its historic, religious and environmental significance.
“The community here is very special and one which must be preserved for future generations. We live in a remote location and are cut off by the tide twice a day which means basic facilities are difficult to access.
“The village hall is a vital part of our community and must be reinstated. We have an application in for lottery funding, but this is not guaranteed.
“If we are able to secure a small donation from everyone associated with the island, including visitors, and encourage those making the trip to Durham to see the Gospels first-hand to do the same, then achieving our target is doable.
“We are asking anyone with a connection to Holy Island and that knows the community there, or has visited in the past to make a small donation at http://www.justgiving.com/hivh.”
A You Tube video has also been created to spread the word.
For over 70 years Holy Island’s iconic village hall has played host to weddings, banquets, meetings, events and various recreational and educational activities.
In launching the drive for funds, the islanders hope to regenerate a place to celebrate life’s milestones; somewhere that will be seen as the heart of the community.
The Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition, which also features other Anglo-Saxon artefacts, is at Durham University until September 30.