Village Hall Refurbishment Overview

May Update

The revised plans for refurbishing the village hall were presented and discussed at a village meeting on 28 April. Steve White explained that it is a ‘no frills’ refurbishment within the existing footprint but with some enhancements to improve storage and relocate the Vale Room toilets. A sensible state date would now be the beginning of 2020.

To do everything we want to do will cost £455,000 and there will be a big drive over the next six months to raise all the money we need, with applications for support being made to nearly 20 funding organisations. We already have £269,000 in the bank or firmly pledged and we have a reasonable chance of re-securing £80,000 pledged to the previous scheme. It’s a challenge but we’re well on the way.

Nearly everyone said they ‘completely’ supported the plans and there was a strong desire to see them completed in one phase, if necessary by the Parish Council raising an additional loan to fill any funding gap still remaining at the end of the year.

A hall fit for the 21st Century of which we are all proud

We want the hall to continue to be at the heart of our community for another generation, making it more attractive, flexible, efficient and comfortable. We want to attract more users and be proud to invite our friends and guests.

General Principles

  • A village hall for another generation
  • Refurbish within existing footprint (an extension providing a bigger post office and kitchen and storage alongside the main hall has proved to be too expensive)
  • Be pragmatic – retain what works (e.g. double-glazed windows)
  • Improve overall look and feel
  • Simple, robust and maintainable
  • Stick to budget (£400,000)

Necessary upgrades and replacements

  • All floors, ceilings and doors
  • Re-wire, new (LED) lights, heating and ventilation
  • Insulate the Main Hall loft
  • New and insulated flat roofs
  • New decor and signage internally and externally
  • New kitchen and toilets

Potential enhancements (subject to cost)

  • Vale Room toilets moved to Vale Room store
  • Replace Vale Room toilets with a new store accessible from Main Hall
  • Additional external door to Main Hall (providing potential access to school grounds in due course)
  • Larger waiting/meeting room (subject to agreement with health centre)
  • Increase size of main male WC (by moving disabled WC to consulting room – subject to agreement with health centre)

To do this, we’ll need of order £400,000, including fees and VAT. We have £240,000 in the bank raised by the Parish Council and from fundraising in the village and personal donations. We will re-apply for £80,000 of grants previously pledged to the earlier scheme, which included an extension. We have included all those who have so far donated or previously pledged to the project in the list of sponsors and supporters. We still have to find £80,000 from further grants, personal donations and village fundraising.

With the energy and resourcefulness of Blewbury and inspired by what other villages have been able to raise for similar projects, we can do this.

We have appointed Ridge to support us as building surveyors, cost engineers and project managers.

Supporting Our Village Hall

A number of people have told us how much the Village Hall has meant to them and their families over the years and that they would like to make a personal donation to the refurbishment. If you would like the opportunity to support the project in this way, please see further details on our Comments & Donations page. If you prefer, you can make a donation on our Virgin Money Giving page.

Donations may be made singly or over a period of time (i.e. monthly, quarterly or annually by standing order) and if Gift Aided the Government will increase your donation by 25%. Higher rate taxpayers will have their donation set off against their higher rate tax. Please see the separate forms linked from our Donations page.

If you have any ideas for fundraising or if you have any comments at all on what is proposed, please send them to Steve White at April Cottage or at Don’t forget to come back to the Village Hall website, where we’ll report on progress and answer questions, or check out our Facebook page.