Our Village Hall is available to hire for a wide variety of events.
An article describing the Village Hall’s original use as a school can be found here
At the October Supper/Film Club evening Helen was presented with her Trustee of the year award. This was given by the Community Council for Somerset in recognition of her many years work as a trustee of the village hall.
The AGM of the Village Hall Management Committee was held on Tuesday 27th September at 6 pm in the Village Hall.
The Annual report for 2015-2016 can be opened by left clicking HERE
The refurbished and extended village hall was officially opened by Kevin McCloud (Channel 4’s Grand Designs) on May 21st.L to R : Helen Rutter (VH Committee), Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs), Peter Renshaw (Viridor Credits Environmental Co) and Paul Taylor (Veolia Environmental Trust)
Click here if you would like to see a photo record of the building work.
Our Village Hall refurbishment and extension has now completed the first four months of work. During that time we have seen the old kitchen, hall and outside toilet and storage block all demolished and the surrounding railings removed for future use. The scaffold went up and the roof came off the existing hall. The wooden floor was removed. This revealed an original blue lias flagstone floor which we now hope to re-use more visibly in the new extension. The old concrete playground was excavated and foundations for the extension have been dug with the new stone walls erected and pointed and the stone cills put in place to await the new windows due to arrive at the end of January. The steels for the new roof on the extension were made and installed and all the roof felted and battened ready for tiling in the new year. The new car parking area was levelled and drainage laid and we received planning permission to remove the chestnut tree causing obstruction to drainage.
Thanks to Philip Stone and his building team for excellent work so far and we eagerly look forward to more exciting progress in the new year when they return after the Christmas break.
Our fundraising has also continued throughout the year and we have now received confirmation of a further grant award which should enable us to provide equipment for the new kitchen. The village hall committee has also been busy researching and making plans for a variety of events to take place when the new hall is ready for occupation in a few months time.
The AGM of the Village Hall Management Committee will be held on Tuesday 22nd September at 6pm in the Church. The Trustees Annual report for 2014-2015 is available to read by left clicking here. If you would like to download a copy of the report to your computer right click on the link and select “save link as…” from the drop down menu.
The Village Hall Trustees Annual report for 2013-2014 is available to read by left clicking here. If you would like to download a copy of the report to your computer right click on the link and select “save link as…” from the drop down menu.
A new survey has been completed by villagers to update and expand the information previously gathered to ensure that our new Village Hall will accommodate as many ideas for design and activities which the majority of the village would like to see. Final design amendments and a full specification will be prepared by our architects, after final consultation with the Village Hall Trustees, over the next few weeks. Quotations will be invited from a number of selected local contractors who are able to begin works at the beginning of 2015.
February 14th 2014
Today we received confirmation that our planning application to extend and improve our Village Hall, with designs by Orme Architects of Glastonbury, have received approval. Now we continue with renewed energy on the fundraising element of the project to enable building works to begin early in 2015. Through village fundraising efforts in the past 18 months we have raised some £25,000 and are hoping that we will ultimately match the grant awarded by Mendip District Council.
Great news! Mendip District Council has awarded Lamyatt the maximum grant of £30,000 for the improvement of our village hall. The Council also congratulated us on our ‘comprehensive and professional application’!
Our contribution: As a condition of receiving this grant – and as evidence of the village’s commitment to the project – Mendip requires the Committee to raise £5,000 over the next three years, through a ‘precept’ added to Council Tax bills – every penny of which comes back to Lamyatt to be used in the Village Hall project. We have therefore asked the Lamyatt Parish Meeting to raise the precept and this will be discussed at a special meeting in early January.
The latest plans: Since we revealed the first design concepts at our open days in April, we’ve taken your views on board and we’ve been working with architects to create an exciting new improved design. So now we’d like you to see these plans and give us your views. We’ve arranged an informal opportunity to do that on :
Thursday 13 & Friday 14 December
The Village Hall, 6.00 pm to 8.00 pm
Our architect, Tom Gascoyne, will join us on the Thursday evening.
Your questions: Meantime, this update will answer some key questions – and the Village Hall Committee will be happy to discuss them further. Our telephone numbers are on the last page. We look forward to hearing from you!
How do we know this is what the village wants?
At the end of 2011, we visited every occupied house in the village with a simple questionnaire to record what you thought about the existing hall, and if you felt it needed improvement.
What did the survey say?
46 out of 60 occupied households responded. Of those, 87% said they wanted to keep the existing hall and improve it – and, importantly, 81% said an enlarged hall was ‘preferable’ or ‘essential’. In other words, as well as wanting modern facilities, a bigger hall was supported by the majority of village households.
Why do we need a better hall?
The original Trust Deed states that the Village Hall is to be held in trust for all the inhabitants of Lamyatt … “for meetings, lectures and classes and for other forms of recreation and leisure with the object of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants”.
The current building, however, is decaying – making it increasingly difficult for us to fulfil those obligations. Our kitchen is inadequate, the remote and basic toilet facilities are unappealing – and the hall’s limited space means we can comfortably seat a maximum of 32 people.
The former yoga class stopped because there was room for only five people to take part … Somerset County Council wanted to hold a mobility clinic but, without a separate reception space, it was considered unsuitable … this year’s Burns’ Supper didn’t have enough room for everyone to get up to dance at the same time … the Supper Club regularly has to turn people away … and the new Village Choir is already filling the space to capacity. With an improved and extended hall, we could do more of the things that people said in the survey they would like to see in the village.
Why don’t we just add new toilets and a better kitchen to the existing hall?
This option has been carefully considered but, in the end, we felt it would not be the best use of funds – nor of the considerable effort required – simply to add new facilities to the present hall that would still be too small for many activities.
Won’t a better hall attract potentially disruptive events?
The committee is acutely aware of this concern and has already taken step to ensure this doesn’t happen. It is our intention that the hall is used first and foremost for village social events and activities, and we won’t be promoting hire of the hall to people or organisations from outside the village. In addition, a new contract for hiring the hall is already in operation, with strict conditions and responsibilities attached, so the Committee retains full control of exactly how, when and by whom the hall is used.
What new activities are planned for the improved and enlarged hall?
What happens in the improved hall is entirely up to the people of Lamyatt! The survey pinpointed over 70 activities that Lamyatt residents of all ages would like to see in the hall – many of which need the additional space provided by the latest plans. Your suggestions included fitness activities like aerobics, yoga, pilates, zumba, drawing, painting and crafts, bridge, table tennis, pool, music, drama, the community choir, hairdressing, beautician, coffee mornings, a lunch club, guest speakers, quiz nights, wine tasting, a dining club, a gardening group, inclusive social events, village and family parties and seasonal events.
Wouldn’t it be better to build a new hall on a different site?
There are three main reasons why this isn’t an easier option. First, the village survey showed overwhelmingly that the existing building is much loved. People asked us to keep it as the social ‘hub’ of the village, and that the character of the existing building be retained and improvements made sympathetically. The second reason involves the terms of our ownership of the existing site, and the availability of a suitable ‘green field’ site. And third, our major source of potential funding, the Big Lottery Fund, only gives money for the redevelopment of existing village halls.
How much is this going to cost?
We estimate that the improvement project will cost £185,000 – to make much-needed repairs to the existing building, and add new facilities and hall space in a complementary and sympathetic way. We appreciate this is a very large sum of money, but feel confident that, with hard work, determination – and the support of the whole village – we can raise the money.
Where will the money come from?
Mendip District Council has already agreed to award us the maximum grant of £30,000 – and work has now started on our bid to the Big Lottery Fund. This is a lengthy two-stage process with a 10% success rate – but we’re optimistic that our plans stand a good chance of securing a major grant of £150,000 from this source, or at least £50,000 from their smaller programme. We will also be approaching local businesses and appropriate charitable trusts, including Viridor, the Tudor Trust and the Garfield Weston Foundation.
Why do you need to add a ‘precept’ to my council tax?
It is a condition of the £30,000 grant from Mendip District Council that we raise £5,000 over the next three years by making a small charge, or ‘precept’, on every household in the village – every penny of which comes back to Lamyatt for the village hall project. This money will be collected with your Council Tax from April 2013, for three years, and, depending on your banding, will add between 24 pence a week for Tax Band ‘A’, up to 73 pence a week for Tax Band ‘H’.
Is that all we’ll be asked contribute?
All funding bodies will expect us to raise a substantial amount through our own efforts – and we’ve set our sights on raising an additional £25,000 over a three year period – so we’ll be looking for ideas to hold events and activities of all kinds to raise money – and have fun at the same time – from sponsored walks to coffee morning, from quiz nights to concerts. Once again, we know from the survey that many, many people offered to contribute ideas and help! So now’s the time!
What happens if we don’t get all the money?
If we don’t get full funding within the current timescale, we would have to ‘phase’ the development, where ‘non-critical’ elements of the project would be completed over
a longer period as funds became available.
Won’t a bigger hall cost more to run?
The new improved building will be well insulated and double glazed, with energy-efficient heating and lighting, making it much more energy-efficient than the existing cold, damp and draughty building. It will also be easier to keep clean – and much more comfortable all year round.
What about extra parking for bigger events?
Since we plan to keep the hall primarily for use of the village and its residents, we don’t anticipate major parking impact as a result of our planned improvements. For occasional larger events, like the Fireworks party or summer Fete, we will operate a carefully considered ‘parking plan’, with ‘parking marshals’ appointed to prevent congestion and disruption in the village, particularly on Portway Hill. The majority of events in the improved hall will, however, be much smaller village events which won’t attract nearly as many vehicles, since most people walk or share transport – as now. At all times, the Village Hall Committee will be mindful of parking concerns and in full control of parking arrangements.
How will you improve access for disabled people?
We hope to allow easy ‘drop-off’ at the new entrance, with step-free access into the building and out into the yard for outdoor events. There will also be a dedicated and fully equipped accessible toilet.
When will the new hall be finished?
This is an important and complex project, and so will take some time to complete! At the earliest – and if all our fundraising efforts are successful – building work could start in the autumn of 2013, with completion around the end of 2014.
Who are the members of the Village Hall Committee?
Sylvia Anderson, Chair : 813306
Mary Clare Rodwell, Treasurer : 830375
Victoria Lang, Secretary : 813344
Ian Deane 812124
Anthony Ffooks 812994
Pat Horler 813162
Helen Rutter 812420
Ali Stone 813159
Nick Smallwood 814811
Hannah Stacey 812385
Simone Ash 812031
Village Hall Improvement Team – sub committee
Mary Clare Rodwell
Keith Moore – co-opted
Romy Smallwood – co-opted