Last Updated on 15th February 2023 by Ian

The Village Hall from the High Street

Your Village Hall Committee has been working for the last few months on an ambitious project to improve the Hall. In short we plan to replace the dilapidated back store with a replacement building which better serves villagers’ needs, while radically upgrading the heating system in the Hall.

The project is at an early stage, and we face significant challenges in making it happen. In the next months we will be sharing our ideas widely with users of the hall, with neighbours, and with the village community. The project will be better the more we hear from everybody.

As a start the extract below sets out the objectives of the project. Please read it and, if you wish, tell us what you think by clicking on this link. We want to hear your thoughts!

Building for the Future

Project Overview at January 2023

The strategic objective of the project is to equip the village hall and the village community to better withstand future shock. We aim to build resilience to changes in the environment and society. These include our response to the climate emergency and the need to reduce our carbon consumption to zero; and the challenge set by reduced economic growth and the increased cost of living.

There are two elements to the project:

Building Development

We aim to demolish a dilapidated store to the rear of the Village Hall and to replace this with a new building. The new building will provide an accessible entrance to the Community Lounge through an attractive entrance foyer. The foyer will provide accessible toilets and child changing facilities for the Community Lounge and also provide access to a new enlarged store.

The new build will significantly enhance the facilities of the existing Community Lounge, thereby providing the Village Hall with an accessible flexible smaller room usable for meetings, informal gatherings, clubs and societies. It will enhance the Village Hall’s amenity by providing a separately rented space which can accommodate up to 60 people. This smaller venue will increase the Villager Hall’s provision, increase usage and thereby secure the Village Hall as a sustainable community hub.

We hope to:

  • bring people together and build strong relationships in and across our communities by creating a more attractive, flexible and resourceful amenity in the heart of this locality.
  • improve the place and the spaces that matter to our community by providing an attractive lounge with ample storage space for users’ resources.
  • enable more people to fulfil their potential by improving accessibility to group activities and thereby increasing and widening participation

Heating Efficiency

The existing heating system consists of oil storage tanks, an oil-fired boiler, and circulating water radiators controlled by electronic thermostats, valves and switches. It is old, unreliable and expensive. The hall has very little heat insulation, resulting in wasted heat and costs.

We aim to replace the existing system with a combination of heat pumps (air-sourced or ground-sourced) and solar panels supported by battery storage. At the same time we aim to improve the thermal efficiency of the building by improving insulation (including loft and ceiling insulation, and cavity wall insulation).

We hope to:

  • reduce the running costs of the hall radically, necessary in a time of increasing gas and oil prices
  • support the community desire to contribute to carbon net zero emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change
  • make the hall more welcoming to more people, with an ethically-driven energy strategy and a more comfortable environment