We recently attended the re-opening of Burwell’s Gardiner Memorial Hall which has been recently refurbished.
The Gardiner Memorial Hall situated in the High Street was built in 1915. The building had a small single storey extension to the front of the property added in the 1960’s. Since then the building has only seen routine maintenance carried out.
The building is run by the Parish Council and well used by local residents but was in desperate need of updating and extending to meet the needs of the growing community.
Burwell Parish Council pulled together a project team including Saunders Boston Limited (Architects), Varsity Consulting Limited (Project Management and Quantity Surveying), Sharman Grimwade (Electrical and Mechanical Consultants) and others to bring the hall into the 21st Century and to make it fit for purpose for many years to come. Cadman Construction Limited of Colchester were appointed to carry out the work. Cambridgeshire ACRE has provided advice and support throughout the process.
The work has been split into two phases. The first phase has involved updating the existing hall including replacing the existing toilets and kitchen, fitting a new platform lift to allow access between the two levels of the hall and extending the stage area. They have also installed an air source heat pump to improve the heating system in the hall, put photo-voltaic panels on the roof, upgraded the insulation in the walls & ceiling and installed top-of-the range audio-visual equipment & lighting. An added extra was the infrastructure and wiring for two electric car charging points so that these might be brought online at a later date. The impact of these improvemets on energy usage has been calculated as a reduction of cost by two thirds.
In addition to its own earmarked reserves (£15k) and Community Infrastructure Levy Receipts (£150k), the Parish Council applied for funding from a number of sources and received a Capital Grant from Cambridgeshire County Council (£131k); CIL R123 Funding from East Cambridgeshire District Council (£180k) and a grant from the Amey Community Fund (£80k).
The second phase will be a new extension. This will provide additional hiring space, with the new room being able to be hired out independently to the existing hall. Additionally, the space will incorporate a Repair Café, a Community Café and a small home user / small business ‘Business Hub’ incorporating two acoustically-isolated business pods. The Parish Council is currently seeking funding for this next phase of works and Cambridgeshire ACRE is assisting by signposting to new funding streams as they become available.
The Parish Council are, rightly, very proud of their achievements to date and have a page on their website that gives more information on this project.
Any Cambridgeshire village hall thinking of embarking on a refurbishment project – or a new build – is encouraged to talk to Cambridgeshire ACRE for advice at the very earliest stages of the work. Visit the Contact Us page of this website and complete the form to get in touch.