We are back on track. We have an outline plan to refurbish the hall within its current footprint and have submitted a planning application. We are now working on the detail.
The aim is still to create a village hall fit for another generation of which we can all be proud. The plan envisages replacing the floors, ceilings, doors and single glazed windows; rewiring and installing new lighting, heating and ventilation; insulating the main hall loft and replacing and insulating the flat roofs; installing a new kitchen and toilets and modernising the decor internally and externally. There are some enhancements we would like to include, if we can afford them, the main one being to relocate the Vale Room toilets to the Vale Room store and replace the toilets with a new store accessible from the main hall. We have set a budget of £400,000.
We could start work in July but we will not have all the money we need (even for a refurbishment without any enhancements) and we will have to proceed in two phases. It will be simpler, less risky and cheaper to wait until later in the year to give us a chance to raise all the money we need and do the job in one phase. This would mean starting in the autumn. The main challenge facing us, whether we proceed in one or two phases, is to raise all the remaining money required between now and then. If we fall short we will still proceed but without some or all of the enhancements we would like to include.
Thanks to the efforts and donations made so far and with the support of the Parish Council, we already have £240,000 in the bank. We will re-apply for £80,000 previously pledged to the earlier scheme. This leaves £80k still to identify and secure. This will have to be found from further funding bids, more village fundraising and personal donations. If we can find another £30,000 from within the village, we can approach third party funders on the basis that two-thirds of the funding has been raised internally, which strengthens our position. We are talking to people who are organising events which could support the hall and personal donations can be made to the Hall Refurbishment Account (details on the village website http://bit.ly/VHRefurb).
There will be a village meeting in April, when we will have a detailed design and cost estimate. This will be an opportunity before we commit to discuss the plans, including the options for enhancements and phasing, and to review how the fundraising is progressing. In the meantime, if anybody has comments or ideas for fundraising, please do get in touch.