This article written by Simon Colbeck will appear in September’s edition of the Hill & Valley Magazine.
The future of our Village Hall
The Village Hall is, to many in our community, seen as a vital part of Chedworth. However, it cannot stand still. It needs to be made a safer place to use, ensure that users are keen to use it, has volunteers to run it and enough money to keep it going now and the in future.
Having also been the home for Pre-School for many years the Hall is looking to play its part in this school’s future, a future that is shaped by the increasing Government standards for such schools.
Under the guidance of Vice-Chairman, John Selway, the Village Hall Committee, which is charged with looking after the Hall, has created a 5-year plan for the Hall. The plan has 3 components:
|Creating Facilities for Disabled People + Improved Health and Safety||This includes the installation of a Wheelchair Accessible Toilet, a Cleaning Room and wheelchair ramps from fire exits in the Main Hall. Also, upgrading the emergency lighting and the installation of a fire alarm system. Our aim is to complete this by the end of 2017.||Estimated Cost:
|Improving Security and the Energy Efficiency of the Hall||This part is planned to commence early next year and completed by May 2019. It involves the replacement of all remaining windows and external doors with secure double-glazed units, completing the project started in the front of the Hall in 2015. Also fitting modern access and heating control systems, reinforcing and resurfacing the car park and installing solar panels on the roof.||Estimated Cost:
|Encouraging broader community use of the Village Hall and its adjacent Sporting facilities||This part, to start in November this year, is to replace the Hall chairs, and to refurbish the Social and Under-stage rooms by autumn next year. During this period we also expect to have installed a fixed back-projection and auto-screen on the Stage and upgraded the Stage Lighting and control equipment. Starting 2019 and completing mid-2020 our plan is to build a new Bar, a new Changing Rooms & Showers block, which directly accesses the Playing Field and to have created a Children & Early Years area.||Estimated Cost:
Total Cost: £246,000
It is worth being clear that:
- The overall aim of these activities to ensure that in the long term the Village Hall is a facility that people from the village and the wider community want to use, and are prepared to pay for using. Investing in the Village Hall will benefit and strengthen our whole community.
- The project assumes that Pre-School will continue to operate from within the framework of the Village Hall. If an alternative solution, for example, a separate and separately funded building, came about then the total cost would be approximately £186,000. Still a very large amount of money but one that today many Village Halls face having to raise.
But where such a significant sum come from?
A substantial amount of the money needed is expected to come from grants the Committee will need to apply for.
However, and critically, our community will need to demonstrate its commitment to sustaining the Village Hall’s future, through these projects, by raising significant funds itself.
Community fund sources:
- The Village Hall currently has around £10,000 available for investment.
- Subject to Councillors’ approval the Parish Council intends to donate £4,000 in 2017 towards the cost of a wheelchair accessible toilet.
- The 3 Chedworth major charitable trusts may find ways to help by contributing, collectively or individually, a meaningful proportion of their combined £360,000 worth of investments.
- Other social organisations, clubs and societies within the Village (who are often users of the Village Hall) to make donations.
- The Committee is open to any other fundraising suggestions and ideas. They would welcome personal gifts and donations to support its plans.
Your views are always welcome
Please feel free to contact our Chairman, David Broad, John Selway (Vice-Chairman) or Myra Burridge (Treasurer).