First of all, apologies for how long things are taking. After we were let down last year by Knowles, it was clear that we could not achieve our preferred scheme at a cost we could afford.
The team has therefore spent some time, with the help of our architects and a QS, in reviewing the scope, specifications and costs of the scheme, to identify opportunities for significant savings, while retaining the new extension, bigger kitchen, relocation of the post office and provision of new storage for the Main Hall. In order to test once and for all whether this is possible, we are working with the builder who gave us the next best bid from the previous tender exercise to see if they can give us a firm price within our budget. If they can, and we like the way in which they have achieved the cost reductions we need, we will commit to working with them to deliver the project.
With a firm price, an identified builder and a clearly defined scheme, we will be in as strong a position as we can be to reinvigorate our fundraising campaign, making bids to as many funders as we can identify as well as a further appeal for donations from the village. On top of the money already raised and the grants previously awarded we will need to re-apply for, we’ll be looking for another £180k. With a phased approach, we would like to make a start on work this year.
If the builders cannot produce a scheme within our budget, we will revert to a scheme without the extension and additional features, refurbishing the hall ‘as is’. This will reduce the costs, but will still require further fundraising and a full re-tender exercise. Again, though, we would aim to make a start on the ground this year.
We are grateful for everybody’s patience and for the support the village has given the scheme so far. Thank you for all the fundraising events and your donations, comments and advice. Steve White