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Village Hall Refurbishment - Design Concepts

Introduction

During the 1960s and again in the 1980s, flat roof extensions were added to the hall with little regard to the historical significance of the old WW1 Concert Hall. Much of this space is not used efficiently and is, therefore, not generating any income for the hall.

We feel that the flat roof extensions are unsympathetic to the original WW1 building. We plan to make more efficient use of these extensions and improve their external appearance. Sustainability, energy efficiency and energy generation rank highly amongst our aspirations.

The car park will continue to be a pick-up point for the South Baddesley School mini-bus. As this improves safety for the children and reduces congestion on Main Road, this was implemented in September 2019.


Page updated on 11 September 2022

Background

In 2015/16 the trustees of East Boldre Village Hall were considering ways to improve the functionality of the hall and add a permanent exhibition of the area's rich local history. Changes to the internal layout were considered. At the same time, the owner of the village shop announced that he would be selling his business and retiring. Afraid that the village would permanently lose its shop, a group of villagers formed a community shop committee. They quickly concluded the current village shop premises was both too expensive and too small for a viable community shop so they asked the village hall trustees if space could be made available in the hall for the new shop. With the full support of the community, plans were drawn and, after a lengthy period of negotiations, planning permission was granted in June 2021 (planning ref. 20/00315). Earlier, in September 2020, four months after the planning application was submitted, the shop committee pulled out of the scheme and currently, the owner of the village shop continues to trade as before.

The village hall trustees are now back where they started, planning an internal reorganisation of rooms and external, mainly cosmetic changes, to improve the appearance of the hall.

Problems with the current layout:

1 Originally called 'the common room', the 1969 extension to the side of the main hall does not effectively increase the useful area of the room. Its area is a modest 22 square metres compared with the original 68 square metre hall which is a 32% increase in floor area, but the extra space has limited use.

2 There is no internal access to the small hall (converted football changing rooms) other than through the toilets. While signage on all four toilet doors directs people not to use the toilets as a shortcut to and from the small hall, most people disregard the signs.

3 While generally adequate for most purposes, there are too few WCs and urinals to meet peak demand during short intermissions in performances or at the end of a film.

4 While being cost effective at the time, the appearance of the wrap-around extensions is not harmonious with the environment.

Proposed solutions:

1 Improved appearance

This project provides an opportunity to hide extensive areas of red brick with timber cladding and restore at least part of the original 1918 appearance. This will be achieved by extending the main hall into the storeroom area and replacing the flat roof over the extended area with a pitched roof, matching but subordinate to the original concert hall's roof, giving a good internal height for games and exercise, and good sight lines to the stage. The pitched roof and timber cladding will restore the appearance of the concert hall's original timber barn-like extension. To balance the appearance of the building, a similar pitched roof will be added over the main entrance. While it will be mainly cosmetic, it will provide internal space, with external doors, for a 1.2 metre satellite dish to be installed for live streaming events.

2 Larger hall and better audience facilities

The current useful area in the main hall for audience seating for cinema, talks and theatre, and for games and exercise is 68 square metres. This proposal will increase that useful area to 99 square metres, a 46% increase.

In a recent community survey, over 95% of the respondents said they would like film nights at the hall with reasonably priced tickets at £6. The additional space will allow for seating of 108 people comfortably in rows or 72 people cabaret style. The increased space for seating will make the offer of cinema, talks and theatre productions a viable prospect.

3 More toilets

Closing off direct access to the ladies and gents toilets from the small hall will solve the issue of people using the toilets as a thoroughfare and will free up space to add an extra toilet cubicle in each washroom, thus addressing the peak demand problem.

4 More useful small hall

Internal access to the small hall will be restored by using part of the kitchen to create a new corridor from the small hall to main lobby. A serving hatch from the kitchen into the small hall will allow refreshments to be served during intervals in performances and film nights thus increasing revenues for the hall.

5 Use floor space more efficiently

The lost kitchen space will be reclaimed from the common room area and the remainder of the common room will be closed off and used for storage. The original 46 square metres of storeroom is larger than required and wastes useful floor space. Storage space will be reduced to 24 square metres which is more than adequate for the hall's needs.

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