Building work on community hall set to get underway

November 10 2020
Building work on community hall set to get underway

Building work on Whittington’s new community hall is set to get under way during December.

The final hurdle to the project was cleared as a Public Works Loan of £420,000 was approved by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

That enabled Whittington Parish Council to rubberstamp the scheme, which has an overall cost of £760,000, during an extraordinary general meeting held to discuss the hall project.

Wychavon District Council is supporting the project in the form of a £300,000 Community Legacy Grant.

Work on constructing the new hall is expected to take around 36 weeks.

The former Whittington Village Hall, which had outlived its usefulness, was closed last December and will be demolished to make way for the new hall on the same site in Church Lane.

During the extraordinary general meeting Interclass was approved unanimously as the contractor to carry out the work.

A construction management plan has been developed to ensure that any impact on the local community is minimised while works are carried out.

During the extraordinary general meeting, held via Zoom, Wychavon District Council’s Community Development Manager, Jem Teal, said he had been involved in four new builds across the district and the Whittington Community Hall was “the most cost effective one to date”.

He commended the parish council and village hall committee for bringing it to fruition.

David Chestney, one of the team who had been working to achieve the aim of the new community hall, said: “This will enable us to build what we have been looking for for so long.”

He added that it would “open up enormous opportunities for the parish as a whole and any number of people in the future”.

Parish council chairman Steve Burrows said they had wanted “something more than a box we could only have one type of meeting in. It’s got to be a multi-purpose type of building.”

He added that those involved in the project had “been very conscious of the public purse”.

Some compromises had been made during the process to ensure the project came in on budget.

For example, a sum of £10,000 had been saved by opting for a cheaper form of flooring.

The new hall’s kitchen would be fitted out but a separate kitchenette would be fitted out once the hall was useable, although that would not hold up the hall’s opening.

Local residents would be kept informed of progress on construction through the parish council’s social media.

Landscaping and planting will be carried out around the building following completion of the hall and separate grant funding would be sought for that.