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Village Hall Project – the Feasibility Study is under way.

The Feasibility Study is under way! In our last Parish Mag update, we said that we’d be going ahead with a feasibility study. What’s a feasibility study, you may ask, and why do we need one? The answer to that comes at the end of this post, but, for those with short memories and the need for a bit of background,  we start with a summary of event outcomes from Your Hall Your Say, the event which helped guide the team’s decision making. Put the kettle on..

Sorry, remind me, what was the event again?

We held the Your Hall Your Say event  to relay what we’ve learned about the key challenges, community needs and considerations, share our work and thinking so far on different ways to approach the project, and invite your feedback and guidance. We really wanted to know if we’d missed anything and check we were on the right track with our thinking and planning. Digital versions of all the materials from the event are available by clicking here.

The Turn Out

You came in droves! 127 people through the door over the course of the afternoon. We had  27 feedback forms on the day, an additional 8 online plus 10 more from people who attended the ‘pop up’ at the Bowls Club during the Playgroup Easter Party.

Along with posters, Parish Mag and Chadlington.com and social media posts, we leafleted almost 390 homes so this was a significant turn out.

Your feedback

We provided opportunities to post notes on the boards, a feedback form on the day and an online version of the same form. All questions were open-ended responses. Following the event, we went through all answers and made a note of all mentions. We then noted the frequency of mentions to get a sense of what ideas people liked most.

In response to ‘Community Needs and Wants’ board. (What do you feel the village and wider community needs / wants? Have we missed anything?)

Overall, there is a lot of support for providing facility to include Chadlington Playgroup, media studio, and community gym. People also love the idea of community cinema. The only extra area to consider that might impact on development was to consider the needs of lone workers. A meeting room exists at the hall of course but what we could consider, particularly if it can generate revenue for the facility, is tech-enabled meeting/working space. And otherwise, you provided lots of great ideas for attracting activities that would benefit hall and community; from dog training classes, to youth theatre and exercise classes for 60+ men. The important thing is, there were no glaring omissions when considering the redevelopment itself.

Here’s a full list of the other comments made: Support joint facilities with Sports Club, Youth Theatre, Concerned re joint facilities with Sports Club, Village archive Classical Music Society, Gardening Club Fitness trail / outdoor gym, rent overnight parking space to residents, Lazer Quest, more evening activities, Terrace / wrap around deck, village Hub for all food market/farmers market, sports hall,  tennis, Pet care advice /mobile vet,  More for the middle aged, Programme of talks, Charge for event parking, Badminton Pickleball, No badminton (use Enstone) Over 60s, men’s keep fit, Dog training /agility classes, Free running area, Youth meeting space outside, Monthly quiz nights, CCTV

In response to ‘lessons from elsewhere’. (The Team prepared case studies from other village hall projects. We asked, “based on what you’ve learned from other village halls, are there any activities or services you think we could or should bring to Chadlington that would help meet our needs, broaden use and/or sustain the hall?)

The key piece of feedback here is that people want more accessible bookings and improved marketing. Also, many feel that we need to be doing more to help make the most of the hall as it stands now.  Sue Haffendon (Memorial Hall Treasurer and bookings) and Susan Myatt (Memorial Hall Chair) are looking at what can be done to make bookings easier as of September 2017, with support from the project team.

In response to, ‘what could this place be like?’.  Our boards outlined our approach and different ways forward, from a simple refurbishment to a complete redevelopment .

Overall, there was enthusiastic support for a more ambitious redevelopment that looks at bringing the hall and sports club facilities together. This feedback needs  to be tempered with concern from some that any redevelopment is in scale with local needs, fits in with our surroundings and, critically,  clearly considers the independent needs of Club/Hall.

We are listening to this feedback and of course are working closely with Paul and Mark of the Sports Club.

We all feel strongly that any change reflects what people want and need and will ultimately allow the hall and sports club to thrive. We are also thinking to the future. What we specifically want to avoid is a tunnel-visioned focus on the hall that does not consider the obvious facts; firstly these two separate organisations and buildings occupy the same triangle of land with shared parking and secondly many people use both facilities. Lastly, within the coming decades the Sports Club will face it’s own pressures to upgrade facilities. We need to consider those eventualities now as part of the Memorial Hall development programme.








Here’s a list of other individual comments related to the board: Respect village character / AONB, the new hall can be re-dedicated to the memory of the fallen, and would be more fitting, congestion is a key issue on event /match days, combined activities would link trips and reduce travel, the building should be environmentally friendly, wildlife friendly gardens should be included, scandinavian style is not in keeping, use traditional materials in a modern style, why not put the school here too – and redevelop the school site? Leep the existing childrens’ playground as open space – even if equipment is relocated here, better outdoor lighting is needed, underfloor heating should be used, build a roof terrace to capitalise on views, build a 240 degree wrap around verandah, avoid cost engineering – ring fence budgets, It all depends on funding, annual block bookings create a good regular source of income, only a modest extension to increase storage should be considered, Beckley and Freeland show the benefits of a new hall

In response to, ‘how do we fund it’?.We explained in our boards that it is likely that funding for the project will come from many different sources, from fundraising events and donations, to large grants, to many small grants for specific things like new equipment. Ultimately the scale of the development will be determined by funding. We asked if you had any ideas and if you’d like to help. We had some great ideas in the mix and some people said that they’d be prepared to help which is great news. Apart from the serious business and hard-graft of grant and trust applications, we’d really love to get a series of events going that not only raise money but are of course great fun and bring people down to the hall. Here’s the full list of ideas – clearly some more serious than others (Jeremy Clarkson remark…)

If you are interested in helping with any of these please do drop us a line on chadmemorialhall@gmail.com

  • Cross country / summer run
  • Village Olympics with the 5 ends of Chadlington competing
  • Summer ball / party
  • Village Cinema
  • Regular Quiz Nights
  • Sponsored Broadcast (with advertising)
  • Summer fete
  • Saturday / Sunday Fun days
  • Village Dance
  • Flower Show
  • Battle of the bands (young and old)
  • Auctions
  • Curry night / themed food / pop up chef
  • Sports Day / Fun Run
  • Film Festival (short films) / Moviola
  • Sponsor a stone / floorboard
  • Brook Run
  • Cycle Races
  • David Cameron Talk / Q&A
  • Halloween Party/Bonfire night?
  • Jeremy Clarkson to blow up existing hall?

In response to, ‘who runs it and maintains it’?

When we asked if anyone would be interested in helping, in any capacity, we got a lot of, ‘no, sorry I don’t have time’. This in itself highlights the key challenge around running a hall under voluntary steam and is why we are considering different models and a paid role for bookings/marketing (which has worked well for other village halls).

So, what happens now?

We have instructed BGS Architects led by Neil Eaton  to conduct a feasibility study. This takes place over the summer of 2017. 

What is a feasibility study and why do we need one?

A feasibility study is a preliminary study which will ultimately deliver professionally costed designs to help us arrive at the most viable plan. This is particularly helpful for us in this case as there isn’t a clear path forward (i.e. more than one option with dramatically different cost implications). A total understanding of cost implications is critical to moving forward with the right plan. We are going to include the following options as these had the most support.

  1. Completely new development providing ‘joined up’ facilities for all (inc new parking!)
  2. Adapting the existing hall to provide additional space for usage by local community groups such as Playgroup and School, improved parking and landscaping, with potential to redevelop/link Sports Club facilities in a later phase.

How much will the feasibility study cost and who’s paying for it?

We have budgeted approximately £4,000 for the study for architect and cost consultant fees. This will be paid for largely by the Parish Council who, as project sponsors have allocated a pot to get the project off the ground. Any additional funds required will need to be generated by fundraising initiatives. 

When will it take place?

The study will take place over the summer and we should have the results by September

We will be in touch with next steps once the Project Team and Steering Group have reviewed the outputs of the study.

Moving forward, we would also like to transition to public meetings for all Village Hall Project meetings so that anyone can attend.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.chadlington.com/archives/28204