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VILLAGE HALL DEVELOPMENT GROUP UPDATES AND PRESS RELEASES
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NATIONAL LOTTERY

DECEMBER 2023 - PRESS RELEASE TO VILLAGE EMAIL AND PARISH MAGAZINE

As we move towards the close of 2023, we are pleased to report that we are
cautiously optimistic of being able to begin work early in the New Year on our project
to build a new village hall which will be a hub for our community offering facilities for
a wide range of activities and services.
The reason for our optimism is a very positive visit to Barrowden from The National
Lottery. At the end of October, the National Lottery Funding Officer and the Capital
Advisor arranged to come to Rutland to meet our team and visit Barrowden Village
Hall. We were very much buoyed up by their visit and their encouraging attitude to
our application now that Barrowden Parish Council has agreed to go ahead with an
application for £50,000 from the Public Works Loan Board following the vote
demonstrating strong community support for the project. Trustees are indebted to
Gordon Brown and Richard Littlejohns for their hard work in the PWLB process and
in the submission of the application. Confirmation from our visitors that our bid for
£250,000 of National Lottery Funds will be put to a Stage 2 panel for a decision early
in 2024 was most heartening and we are told that there is usually an 80% chance of
success with this.
Obtaining the National Lottery funding will enable us to match fund the £250,000
capital element of the Government Community Ownership Fund (COF) already
awarded to the Village Hall Trustees earlier this year by the Department of Levelling
Up Housing and Communities.
We have already been able to draw down the £50,000 revenue element of the COF
towards surveys, architect’s fees and also to commission the design for the timber
frame for the new hall. We are now poised to start demolition and construction at the
earliest possible opportunity in 2024.
Harris Mc Cormack Architects have been working with the Rutland County Council
Planning Department to formulate a Construction Management Plan
(CMP) which our group presented to the directors of the Barrowden and Wakerley
Community Shop at a recent meeting. It is our aim that the Shop will remain open as
usual throughout the demolition and construction work and we are also committed to

minimising any disruption to the Shop’s trading and inconvenience to customers. The
VHDG took on board requests made by the Shop directors and our architect is now
looking to see if it is possible to adapt the original plan to accommodate the requests
made by the Shop directors, whilst still maintaining the crucial level of Health and
Safety required by law. Our next step will be to invite the owners of neighbouring
properties to view the CMP in order for them to understand what will happen once
building work commences.
Our fundraising campaign is ongoing and to date over 30 applications have been
made to a variety of charities and grant funders. We have written to those village
residents who have already made pledges and donations in order to keep them
informed of the situation and once work commences, we are hopeful of financial
support from many more Barrowden residents. There is now the facility to Gift Aid
donations. Throughout the long haul of work to get the project to its present state, it
has been the support and encouragement from village residents that has kept us
focused and engaged to deliver the project.
Consultations with the regular groups who meet in the hall on a weekly or monthly
basis have taken place to inform the design. A survey about the needs of young
families has taken place and any further suggestions about how we can include the
views of young people would be warmly welcomed. Regular users have all been
provided with information about alternative venues in the locality that may be suitable
for their activities whilst building work takes place.
We now have our fingers crossed for the crucial decision from the National Lottery
Panel and very much hope that in a year’s time, in December 2024, we are nearing
completion of our new community facility and getting ready to celebrate it’s opening.
Sara Barrett
On behalf of the Village Hall Development Group
Paul Diver, Brian Edwards, Valerie Fraser, Simon Piggott, Steve Preston, Robert Wright

OCTOBER 2023 - PRESS RELEASE TO VILLAGE EMAIL AND PARISH MAGAZINE

 

Whilst looking through past documents in the Barrowden Village Hall archive recently, our group
became aware of this report written 13 years ago:

Chairman’s Report
9th March 2010

£1,100 was spent on tarmac and tidying up the parking area in front of the hall, this has proved of great
benefit for those using the shop. During the landscaping around the shop land in the ownership of the
Village Hall was used, a licence has now been agreed between the Parish Council (trustees of the Village
Hall) and the Shop Committee clarifying the situation and safeguarding the ownership of the land for the
future.
Externally the appearance of the Village Hall is poor: some remedial work and decoration is required. A
paint day was organised last year to do this, it was advertised in the parish magazine, website and locally,
but sadly only one volunteer came forward from the whole village. It was therefore cancelled and the
Village Hall remains shabby.
Heating continues to be a problem with some hirers, but without massive investment and vast
improvements to the insulating quality of the building we cannot expect modern day standards from what
is, in effect, an inadequate temporary structure. It will be the centenary of the Village Hall in 2027; I hope
the Committee can preserve it until then and then consider replacing it with a modern, bright, warm and
inviting building to be enjoyed for the next 100 years.
Systems are in place to ensure the efficient running of the booking, payment and banking procedures. If
everyone continues to use these then things will run smoothly.
The Village Hall finances remain in the black thanks to those who hire it and the hard work of the
Committee. It is my hope that this trend continues and the new Chairman and his/her Committee receives
the support of the village and the Village Hall remains part of the community.
George Smith
February 2010

We believe that members of the Village Hall Committee of 2010 would be delighted to see the
progress that has now been achieved towards replacing the original 1927 building, hopefully well
before it reaches its centenary and with every expectation that demolition and rebuilding work will
commence early in 2024.

An award of £300,000 of Government ‘levelling up’ money has been granted and plans to match
fund the £250,000 capital element of this award through grants from other sources, donations and
charitable trusts are falling into place.
Our bid for £250,000 of National Lottery Funding is now through to the second round. We have
been told that we have a 70% chance of success with this, providing we can meet certain criteria,
one of which is evidence of community support for the project through a Public Works Loan.
Barrowden Parish Council have been very proactive in looking into how this loan could be applied
for and facilitated on behalf of the Village Hall Committee. An Information leaflet was distributed to
every household in Barrowden and residents were encouraged to ask for any further information
they needed and give their views on the proposal. A very well attended meeting was held in the
Village Hall on August 30th when residents were addressed by Barrowden Parish Council
Chairman Gordon Brown about the financial implications of taking out this loan, provided with an
opportunity to state their viewpoint in a public forum and encouraged to discuss and ask questions
about the information that was presented to them. Our group were delighted that so many
residents attended the meeting and also with the many very supportive comments made.
We now look forward to a positive result in the Barrowden Parish Council referendum on taking
out the £50,000 Public Works Loan to part fund the replacement hall building. All registered
electors in the village will have the opportunity to make their views known by casting their vote this
month.
We fervently hope that George Smith’s aspiration expressed in the final paragraph of his letter
becomes a reality.

Sara Barrett
On behalf of the village Hall Development Group

AUGUST 2023 - PRESS RELEASE TO VILLAGE EMAIL

Update on Funding for a New Village Hall

The National Lottery

As part of the fundraising effort for a new village hall, the Village Hall trustees
have been successful in their bid for a £300,000 grant from the Community
Ownership Fund (COF). The trustees are now in advanced stages with a
National Lottery application and are delighted to report that our bid has
recently passed the critical ‘stage one’ selection process. This means that a
final detailed application will be submitted in the hope of securing funding of
up to £250,000.
As expected, the National Lottery has stipulated that its grant should be
supported at the local level by a Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) loan. The
details and financial implications of this have been set out in the recent Parish
Council flyer delivered to all households in Barrowden.
Please attend the meeting in the Village Hall on Wednesday August 30th at
7:30pm to find out more information about this proposal from members of
Barrowden Parish Council and the Village Hall Development Group and to have
the opportunity to make your views known.
The Village Hall Trustees are also preparing to make bids for other funds this
autumn from a range of charitable foundations and local grant funders.
However, the grants from the Community Ownership Fund and the National
Lottery will meet about two thirds of the expected costs of building a new hall
and being made available at an early stage, will give other funders more
confidence to invest.
The Village Hall Development Group

JUNE 2023 PRESS RELEASE TO VILLAGE EMAIL

Members of Barrowden Village Hall Development Group were delighted to learn yesterday that our application for £300,00 from the Government Community Ownership Fund has been successful.

We now have the firm financial foundation we need to move forward with our fundraising plans for the construction of a new Community Hub in Barrowden.

 

 

 

PRESS NOTICE FROM ALICIA KEARNS MP - JUNE 2023

Member of Parliament for Rutland and Melton 

 

EMBARGOED UNTIL 00.01 30 th JUNE  2023     29 th June 2023

Barrowden Village Hall Development Group Awarded £300,000 from the Government’s

Community Ownership Fund.

The Government has announced £300,000 for Barrowden Village Hall Development Group
following their successful bid, supported by local MP Alicia Kearns, for a share of the
Government’s Community Ownership Fund.


The group bid for funding to invest in a new community hub in Barrowden, replacing the 96-
year-old village hall which had a number of structural and safety issues. A structural survey
undertaken revealed problems including a leaking roof, dry rot, and wet rot.
In May Rutland County Council planners approved proposals to demolish the village hall and
build a new community hub. The three-phase development will aim to bring the shop and
surgery, which also share the Kings Lane/Wakerley Road site, under one roof.

Alicia Kearns, Member of Parliament for Rutland and Melton said: 
"It is just fantastic news that Barrowden’s Village Hall Development Group’s bid for a share of
the Government’s Community Ownership Fund has been successful!
After meeting the team and supporting their bid by raising it with the Government, I know how
much this funding means to them, and their journey to secure this funding has by no means
been smooth-sailing. The pandemic forced initial plans back to the drawing board, but thanks to
the group’s hard work and incredible vision, they have now received the funding they need for
this wonderful project.
Congratulations to all the group, and I very much look forward to visiting this new bustling hub
at the heart of Barrowden when work is complete.”


Dehenna Davison, Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Minister said:
“I’m delighted to be able to support this local community group to secure the long term future of
the Barrowden Community Hub. The local MP, Alicia Kearns, has raised with me what a vital
asset this is, and I am pleased the project will now go ahead.”
 
Brian Edwards, Barrowden Village Hall Development Group member said:

“I am absolutely delighted that the application to the Community Ownership Fund for £300,000
towards a new community hub in Barrowden has been successful.
This is an exciting project to replace an ageing village hall with a modern fit for purpose
community facility with the aim of bringing support and services closer to local people and meet
community needs in this rural part of Rutland.
The project that has been under development for over 7 years and reaching this point is a
reflection of a strong community spirit in the area and I am pleased to play a part and support
this exciting vision for the future.”


Karen Payne and Matthew Farina, Councillors for Ketton said:
“Barrowden Village Hall is a central and valuable asset to our local community. We are
delighted to hear the brilliant news that we’ve been awarded £300k towards the replacement of
the existing irreparable hall. This is a great start to the fundraising journey and a credit to the
Village Hall Committee, residents and our MP, Alicia Kearns, who all put so much hard work into
achieving this award, congratulations!”

—-ENDS—- 

Notes to Editor
The £150 million Community Ownership Fund was launched by the Government to help
community groups buy or renovate assets that would otherwise be lost to the community.
The Government’s Community Ownership Fund is designed to ensure that important parts of
the social fabric, such as pubs, sports clubs, theatres and post office buildings, can continue to
play a central role in towns and villages across the UK. This Fund is part of the Government’s
levelling up agenda, with funding weighted towards places where community assets will have
the biggest impact.
 

For Press Enquiries Please Contact: 
 
Amelia Leeming 
Amelia.leeming@parliament.uk

MAY 2023 - PRESS RELEASE TO PARISH MAGAZINE AND VILLAGE EMAIL

We are pleased to be able to report that we have made progress in our crucial application to Round 2, Window 2 of the Community Ownership Fund for a grant of £250,000 but have been asked to resubmit Section 4 of our application by April 14th and we have duly submitted this.

We remain optimistic of a successful outcome and hope to hear that a decision has been made in the near future.

Meanwhile, positive progress continues with obtaining funding from other providers:

·         400k National Lottery – We have continued to enjoy a close working relationship throughout the project and have recently received verbal encouragement and a confirmation email that our Stage 1 application for £400k will be considered by a NL panel in May/June.

·         £50k Public Works Loan – from Barrowden Parish Council subject to successful completion of the consultation process to be launched following the April meeting of BPC.

·         £50k Barrowden United Charities - the charity trustees have agreed their support in principle for a loan to the Village Hall.

Remember to visit the Barrowden Village Hall website www.barrowdenvh.co.uk for further information about the project and for up to the minute news.

Sara Barrett

On behalf of the Village Hub Development Group

Paul Diver, Brian Edwards, Valerie Fraser, Steve Preston, Robert Wright

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FEBRUARY 2023 - PRESS RELEASE TO VILLAGE MAGAZINE AND EMAIL

At the Consultation Events at the Village Hall on November 25th and 26th last year, we kicked off the first phase of our local funding activities with a request for pledges and donations towards the construction of our replacement Village Hall as the first phase of new community facilities on the Wakerley Road / Kings Lane site. In addition to the Consultation Events, leaflets were distributed to each household in Barrowden and Wakerley giving details of how people could show their engagement by making a financial contribution.

We are delighted with the response from residents who have demonstrated how keen they are for this project to go ahead. Donations and pledges are a necessary part of our crucial bid for a £250k Government Community Ownership Fund. Our appeal closed on December 31st and we can now announce that £18,695 has been pledged or donated by local residents.

 

The Village Hall Development Group would like to sincerely thank everyone who responded to the appeal. Many generous pledges and donations have now been received and the following people have agreed to have their names published:

 

Robert and Rachel Wright

Sara and Chris Barrett

Paul Diver and family

Tony and Helen Batchelor

John Haddon

Terry and Gill Curtis

Valerie and Ronnie Fraser

Julian and Judy Wise

Steve and Sarah Preston

Pixie James

Stuart Brown

Mike and Lesley Ferrow

Norman and Miggs Bonnor
Brian and Janet Tuplin

Philip Wood

Chris Wintle

 

If you missed the opportunity to make a pledge or donation and would like your name to be added to this list please contact our scheme treasurer Robert Wright for details: robtwright@hotmail.com

 

There will of course be further opportunities to demonstrate your financial support and many more exciting fundraising opportunities in the coming months. Watch this space!

 

The Village Hall Development Group

Sara Barrett, Paul Diver, Brian Edwards, Valerie Fraser, Steve Preston, Robert Wright

JANUARY 2023 - PRESS RELEASE TO PARISH MAGAZINE AND VILLAGE EMAIL

Members of the group were delighted to see so many village residents at the two Consultation Events held at the Village Hall on 25th and 26th November. It was an excellent opportunity to get involved with our project to replace the current dilapidated building. A large number of residents came to find out information, view the proposed plans, make views known to our group and talk to our scheme architect from Harris McCormack. We now know that we have the support of the community and a firm mandate to proceed to our goal. If you were unable to attend these events do please visit our new website, https://www.barrowdenvh.co.uk/ to see the project details, give us feedback and hopefully be part of the journey.

Another very pleasing development were the many generous donations and pledges made at the event. Money pledged is essential for our crucial bid for a £250k Government Community Ownership Fund which was submitted in early December. Success with this first part of the funding jigsaw will enable us to draw down other funds from Trusts and Funders who are generally not the first to respond. In tandem we are continuing with our local fundraising campaign. Every household in the villages will by now have received details of how they can be engaged and contribute to the drive to update our village community facilities.

Our ongoing talks with Barrowden Parish Council, The Barrowden Shop Directors, The Uppingham Surgery and Burghley Estates have all been positive and our architect has amended drawings in the light of comments received at the Consultation Events.It is hoped that our scheme plans will be submitted to Rutland County Council for Planning Permission in the very near future.

Please look out for updates on our progress on our website, on Village Email and in forthcoming editions of this magazine. If you would like any further information please get in touch with any member of the team.

The Village Hall Development Group

Sara Barrett, Paul Diver, Brian Edwards, Valerie Fraser, Steve Preston, Robert Wright

 OCTOBER 2022 - PRESS RELEASE TO VILLAGE EMAIL

Since our last update in August 2022, much progress has been made towards the replacement of our current building which is not only dilapidated, but beyond economic repair, in the first step towards our new community facilities.

We are delighted to report that the newly formed Liaison Group has now met twice. Both meetings have been very positive and will enable our Development group and Barrowden Parish Council to go forward together to achieve our aims of delivering Phase 1 of new community facilities on the Kings Lane / Wakerley Road site. At the last meeting we were able to report that a local architect, Simon Harris of Harris Mc Cormack has been appointed by our group to produce plans for a replacement hall.

Now that the crucial appointment of an architect has been made, we can confidently look forward to sharing initial designs for a new village hall with residents at an open consultation meeting in the very near future.

In order to help us to refine our project plan and costs, we have accepted an offer for a free feasibility study from a regional construction company. This has now been received and will be studied in detail to help us to understand and break down the building costs involved in the project.

Our other news is that we have made a tentative arrangement with our local MP Alicia Kearns to make a visit to the hall on October 21st. We hope that she will be able to lend us her support by giving us some valuable pointers towards our forthcoming application for a Community Ownership Fund, which could enable a grant of £250,000. Look out for further news of this visit on village email.

In the meantime, we would be delighted to hear from anyone who would like further details of our plans, or from people who have ideas about the significant local fundraising that will be necessary. Please get in touch by sending an email to villagehubdg@gmail.com, or speak to any member of our group.

OCTOBER  22ND 2022 - VILLAGE HALL DEVELOPMENT GROUP UPDATE

Community Hub Meeting with Alicia Kearns MP

The development group was pleased to host Alicia Kearns MP and parish council members on 21st October; after this meeting representatives of hall users were invited to see the latest progress on providing a new Community Hall as the first stage of upgrading village amenities.

Both meetings were very positive and rewarding. We were pleased to receive a warm endorsement from those present to further develop plans for a building and suitable car parking and to pursue funding applications.   

Our appointed architects, Harris McCormack, presented the initial designs and responded to questions an feedback from those present. The initial designs will be used to develop suitable plans which can be subject to public consultation and when the time is right submit a planning application.

In recent weeks we have had positive conversations with health care professionals about their needs for suitable facilities in Rutland. There is a general move towards local supply of services and social prescribing which could make use of the new hall.   

We have the full support and engagement of Rutland County Council and Rutland Primary Care Network and in Rutland this will be a unique and first ever joint venture between RCC, RPCN and a Community Hub project.

Our budget is around £600,000. Whilst funding will be a challenge we expect to apply for up to £250,000 from the Government’s Community Ownership Fund and we believe that our project is a strong candidate.  This fund is the most significant available and if our application is unsuccessful then we have a plan b. but this is a more difficult task.

Given the success of these meetings we will hold two public sessions in the Village Hall on November 25th and 26th to which all are invited to see the Project Plans. Please make a note of these dates and look out for further information on village email and in the parish magazine.   

Sara Barrett

On behalf of the Village Hall Development Group

AUGUST 2022 - PRESS RELEASE TO VILLAGE EMAIL

As I feel sure most readers are aware, due to the difficulty of obtaining grant funding in the post-covid climate, plans for a village hub with hall, shop and surgery under one roof on the Kings Lane/ Wakerley Road site have had to be shelved.

However, we are currently making progress with a fresh opportunity to replace the village hall. This building is very close to the end of its life and we feel strongly that we owe it to the original founders and also to the next generation of villagers, to ensure that is replaced in the very near future so that the facilities it offers can continue to benefit the community. We are therefore adopting a phased approach to replacing village facilities, beginning with Phase 1 of our Community Hub aspirations to replace the hall on its present site and with a similar footprint. The adjacent community shop and doctor’s surgery could be replaced at a later date, if and when funding becomes available.

We have been encouraged in this endeavour by news of the opening on May 27th of a new round of the Community Ownership Fund which could enable a grant of £250,000 which would need to be match funded, plus a possible unmatched £50,000 revenue support grant. We have submitted an ‘Expression of Interest’ which we hope will lead to an invitation for us to be invited to bid. We already have a pledge of £95,000 from the National Lottery, providing that there is a small Public Works Loan in the jigsaw of funding. We have therefore approached Barrowden Parish Council and obtained their support in principle for our plans to replace the hall. To enable this, BPC have nominated three councillors, Peter Jones, Gordon Brown and Mike Ferrow to serve on a liaison group together with our members in order to be able to move on quickly with this project.

If we receive an offer to bid for funding in the early autumn, there will be a limited time in which to spend the grant money, so time will be very much of the essence. We have therefore been working hard to ensure that we have viable, worthy methods of procuring our project. Our discussions with architects, surveyors, landowners and other professionals have been fruitful and we hope that with valuable input from the community regarding preferred design, we should be poised to make a decision when the time comes. To this end we expect to be able to hold an Open Consultation Event in the village hall before the end of the year to give residents an opportunity for initial consultation on the way forward.

In the meantime, we would be delighted to hear from anyone who has ideas about the significant local fundraising that will be necessary, or indeed any comments on our plans. We can also supply details of the Community Ownership Prospectus or answer any queries. Please get in touch by sending an email to vhdg@gmail.com or speak to any member of our group.

Sara Barrett

On behalf of the Village Hall Development Group, Brian Edwards, Paul Diver, Valerie Fraser, Steve Preston, Robert Wright.

MAY 2022 - PRESS RELEASE IN PARISH MAGAZINE

In our update in the March edition of this Magazine, we wrote that due to the rapidly deteriorating condition of the building, we need to replace the hall urgently. In full support of a hub concept, we now need to take the first steps in what we hope could be a phased development of new community facilities on the Kings Lane / Wakerley Road site, using the footprint of our current planning permission.

We’re delighted to continue to receive enquiries and positive messages of support for our plans from village residents and are pleased to report that we are making progress towards our goals and putting flesh on the bones of our plans.

We now have several realistic and affordable options for a replacement Village Hall building and have been in consultation with a number of potential suppliers. Our research into potential grant funding is also bearing fruit and we have been able to identify a funding opportunity opening up this month. Work on the business plan which will be needed for submission to grant funders is well under way. We are also in discussions with Burghley Estates about how they can assist us to enable additional adjacent parking capacity.

We look forward to announcing that we can hold an Open Day in the summer to update village residents and provide an opportunity for everyone in the village to be informed and consulted on our plans.

In other related news, we are pleased to report that after an administrative delay, the Village Hall Trustees move to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) is now going ahead. We expect to hold the postponed public meeting for residents to vote on a resolution to adopt this proposal in the near future.

Also, the Village Hall Committee are pleased to report that on March 17th at the regular monthly Open Mic music night held in the Village Hall, seven acts from around the county performed to an appreciative audience. As a small gesture to Ukraine, it was decided to donate the bar profits and the proceeds of a bucket collection to the DEC Appeal. Thanks to the generosity of villagers and musicians on the evening, £400 was raised. Open Mic nights are free and open to all. Musicians and audience are welcome on the third Thursday of each month, with all bar proceeds to Village Hall funds. For further details see Barrowden Village Hall Facebook page, or email Barrowdenopenmic@gmail.com

 

The Village Hall Development Group

Sara Barrett, Paul Diver, Brian Edwards, Valerie Fraser, Steve Preston

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MARCH 2022 - PRESS RELEASE TO VILLAGE EMAIL AND PARISH MAGAZINE


We have recently received several enquiries from village residents about how the project to update our ageing village facilities on the Kings Lane/ Wakerley Road site is progressing.

Unfortunately, the original plan, begun in 2015 to combine a village hall, community shop and Surgery under one roof in a hub building has stalled. Due to the changed funding situation post Covid we can no longer count on the considerable sums from the Lottery we had been given good reason to expect.

In the light of this changed situation we have been very occupied in considering how we can modify and alter our original plans. We have reached the conclusion that our priority must be to replace the Village Hall as soon as possible as the building is not only outdated, but also now beyond economic repair. We are not altogether abandoning the concept of a hub and would hope that in the fullness of time other village facilities could be clustered together in a phased development. Accordingly, we are changing the title of our group from the Village Hub Development Group to the Village Hall Development Group.

Our new plan is to replace the current hall with a slightly larger building on the present site. Extensive research into different funding sources has given us growing confidence to proceed with this course of action and we are cautiously optimistic that we could obtain grant funding of £500K - £600K to realise this plan.

Obviously, there will be a lot of flesh to put on the bones before we can proceed with this revised plan and we fully intend to keep residents informed and involved as we have done in the past, through open days in the village hall and updates in the parish magazine and on village email.


The Village Hall Development Group
Sara Barrett, Paul Diver, Brian Edwards, Valerie Fraser, Steve Preston

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