Although the village hall has benefited from various improvements over the years, it has become obvious from feedback that the management committee has received from a local survey in the summer of 2011 (at Semley summer fete) that your village hall is in need of a major upgrade.
• the car park capacity needs to be increased
• the toilet facilities need to be modernised and be made more accessible for the those people whose mobility is impaired
• The entrance needs to be more welcoming
• Local children need a place to meet and play
• Audio Visual equipment would make it more attractive to hire
Together all of these improvements are likely to cost well in excess of £100,000. We are therefore breaking the work down into smaller projects to enable us to fund raise and apply for grants to make some of these amenities available to the community as quickly as possible.
As there were R2 funds (these are funds collected by the council from local developers) unallocated and about to expire, we managed to obtain a matching grant from Wiltshire Council to fund the play area. The play equipment was installed before Christmas, however it will not be officially opened until the Spring of 2014, to give the newly laid turf time to settle in.
We will install a butterfly garden with other features to encourage wildlife, hoping to stimulate young minds, as well as exercise young muscles. There will be seating for those accompanying the children, providing the opportunity for adults to socialise.
Extension to the Hall
We now have planning permission to extend the hall and over the next few months will be producing the drawings and documentation necessary to obtain quotations from building firms. Once we receive these quotations we will be in a position to apply for grants. We have also been running lots of fundraising events – the New York Funk night was popular in October, as was the Christmas Tabletop Sale. Our next planned event is All You Need Is Love – a night to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Saturday 15th February.
The new extension will provide modern toilet and disabled facilities with space for baby changing. The entrance hall will be light and airy with space to hang coats. At the rear of the new extension there will be storage for our tables and chairs to allow the main hall to be kept free of clutter.
Externally, the extension will be built of Dorset brick under clay tiles to blend in with the rustic charm of the original building that has been serving our local community for over 100 years.
The entrance to the new car park will be via the field gate at the front of the hall. We are leasing the small field between the hall and the railway embankment from Mr Chris James who has very generously provided this space at a peppercorn rent. The new car park will allow around 14 cars to be parked off of the road and will have a safety fence to prevent access to the railway embankment. We will also resurface and extend the lay-by at the front of the hall to improve the traffic visibility for vehicles emerging from the car park.
Audio Visual equipment
We plan to install audio visual equipment at the hall at to encourage it to be used for film shows, special interest groups and business events. Watch this space as our plans develop.
We wish to improve our hall so that it provides a modern meeting place for everybody in our scattered rural community, providing a community hub for people to meet, socialise and share their interests.