Re-opened after Covid rules were finally removed in July.
The trustees held their first meeting for many months and quickly realised just how much work needed doing at the hall, some of which had become quite urgent.
Between ‘lockdowns’ we had the long-awaited new noticeboards erected, either side of the entrance to the hall driveway; a vast improvement on the old wooden board on the wall (which we hope to take down soon).
Two new motion detector lights were also fitted above the hall doors.
The long list of work was prioritised, with repairs to the flat roof over the sports hall deemed the most urgent. Quotes were obtained and Skyline Roofers from Anstey completed the necessary works in August; making the roof watertight once more and cleaning and repairing the guttering.
Meanwhile, the trustees were made aware of a problem with the overgrown shrubbery and ivy along both sides of the driveway, which also needed urgent attention. A local firm was contacted and the hedges around the car park were trimmed and the trees and shrubs cut back to ground level along the driveway. Work on this area is ongoing, the stumps and rubbish to be removed this week for new easy maintenance landscaping.
Another job at the hall ‘signed off’ by the trustees last year was the purchase and erection of two new signs above both the hall doors, displaying the new village logo. We were unable to complete this work between ‘lockdowns’, but finally succeeded in August. The Fisher German team taking part in the National Forest Trek posed for us to show off one of the new signs.
Another much needed addition to the hall facilities was the purchase and installation of a freezer in the main kitchen.
With so much remedial, new works and projects required to get the hall back up and running and make it desirable for the local community, businesses and groups to use on a regular basis we knew that we would need to spend a great deal of money on the 50-year-old building, to enable us to compete with the newer more modern halls at Bagworth and Stanton under Bardon. The hall has to pay for its own upkeep especially as we are losing the current parish council grant, which is reducing by a thousand pounds annually over the next 8 years to zero.
Whilst the centre has a fairly healthy bank balance it was obvious that we would need money towards the major projects; landscaping the borders, new toilets, hearing loop, decking, enlarging the car park, decorating throughout, new curtains, new doors, repainting the car park lines and so much more, all major expenses costing far more than we have available.
With this in mind one of the trustees decided to approach a local business, Forterra, the large brickworks at Bagworth Heath, to seek financial help. We were contacted by their representative Helen Newbury, who visited the hall to meet with three of the trustees. Helen went away and pleaded our case to her bosses who very kindly donated £2500 to the Community Centre.
This money has been very gratefully received and has been spent on a projector and screen. The projector has been purchased; the screen is on order. This will be a very useful addition to our facilities, which will be made available to businesses and groups; the regular quiz night can now be made more interesting with the use of a pictures etc. Film nights will also become a possibility for the local community. The projector and screen will be a learning tool for the Playgroup and assist the theatre group with their productions. It is hoped that there will be sufficient funds left over from their very generous donation to purchase a three-seater bench made from recycled materials for outside the hall with a plaque thanking Forterra for their kindness.
Earlier this year seven-year-old Katie Smith did a sponsored walk and donated £500 to the centre – it is hoped that at the next Trustees meeting the trustees will vote in favour of a second bench being purchased for outside the hall.
Having been successful on our first attempt at raising monies, other companies will be approached for donations to help us make the two halls the best they can be for the local community, and the trustees will start fund raising events at the hall soon. Any suggestions gratefully received.
There will be a Craft fair, Murder mystery night, Seniors Christmas party and quiz night with fish & chip supper, held at the hall over the next few months.
We are ‘on the up’ and looking forward to more improvements to come.
The hardest part for the trustees hasn’t been what to spend monies on but trying to get tradespeople to quote for the work. We are desperate for the new toilets to be fitted but the builder who had been engaged to do this work in October has cried off. Do you know anyone who could quote and complete this work? Please get in touch if you have any skills that could help us? Plumbing, electrical, gardening, painting etc.