Chair: Dan Pedley
Members: Neil Haycock, Stephen Hedley, Caroline Prince, Christine Prince, John Thorpe
The key objectives of the Village Hall and Meeting Places Working Group (WG) are to generate proposals to improve existing community facilities, or create new ones, to meet the needs and aspirations of the community in Church Broughton.
The Working Group has surveyed existing facilities in Church Broughton and surrounding area and visited several village halls in nearby locations (Ticknall, Repton, Boylestone, Smisby, Dalbury Lees and Cubley).
The Working Group also documented the extensive range of activities which currently take place in the existing facilities (Parish Church, Methodist Chapel and Schoolroom and Church Broughton Primary School). This showed that (excepting for the 2020 Covid circumstances) there is strong demand for a meeting place for many different events. These activities include exercise classes (eg. pilates, yoga, dance, chair-based exercise), ballroom dancing classes, concerts, Parish Council meetings, table tennis, book café, pantomime, social events (eg. parties, film nights etc), shop and café, aspirations for other things such as badminton and a club for teenagers.
In May 2019 the WG presented a number of options to a public meeting held in the Parish Church, following which everyone was invited to vote for their preferences. The options included various renovations to the Parish Church, building a new Village Hall, and renovating the Methodist Chapel and Schoolroom.
The consultation showed that there was strong support for building a new Village Hall, with the highest proportion (46%) of votes received having this as their first choice. It is thought that this desire results from the wide range of existing activities which are currently held in several different venues, all of which are a compromise to some degree or other. There was some interest in a large scale renovation of the Parish Church which included removal of all the pews, which attracted 28% of votes for this as their first choice. Renovating and leasing the Methodist Chapel and Schoolroom attracted the strongest support as a second choice with 27% of votes.
The PCC which runs the Parish Church has made it clear that it does not currently support a large scale refurbishment of the Parish Church and therefore this option is not being considered further.
Since the ceasing of worship in the Methodist Chapel, the owners have offered to lease the Chapel and Schoolroom to the Parish Council (PC). In November 2019, the CLP supported the Parish Council at a public meeting to assess the community’s support for an increase in the Council Tax precept which would allow the Methodist Chapel and Schoolroom to be leased by the Parish Council. In summary, there was strong support for the proposal, by the people who voted.
The view from the 2019 consultation was that a nicely refurbished Methodist Chapel and Schoolroom, leased by the Parish Council, would serve as a good interim facility / small community centre whilst the option of a new Village Hall is pursued. Consequently, the Parish Council raised the precept and started negotiation with the Methodist Chapel owners. Progress was slow due to the Covid 19 pandemic and in January 2021 the Methodist Circuit announced that the Methodist Chapel and Schoolroom would be put up for sale and therefore the proposal for the Parish Council to lease the building is no longer possible. However, as an Asset of Community Value, the community is afforded the time to prepare a bid to buy the building for use as a community centre.
April 2021 Update:
In February and March 2021, the Parish Council ran a consultation to assess the support for the use of PC funds and an increase in the council tax precept to enable a bid to be made to buy the Methodist Chapel and Schoolroom.
Results of 2021 Consultation on bid to buy the Methodist Chapel & Schoolroom
The results of the survey showed a 43% response rate and 90% in favour of the project, including the use of Parish Council cash reserves and a precept increase to enable a Public Works Loan to be taken out. The response rate compares favourably with typical voter turnout at local elections, which combined with 90% of votes in favour is considered to be a strong indication of support for the project. See the Parish Council pages for the minutes of an Extraordinary Meeting in March 2021 which reviewed the results and resolved to proceed with the project. Please note that this does not automatically mean that the Methodist Chapel owners are obliged to sell the building to the Parish Council; the building could be sold privately to a higher bidder. The Parish Council has until 11th August 2021 to prepare the funding to enable a bid to be made.
Please check the Methodist Chapel Project page on the Parish Council section of the website for further updates.
New Village Hall as a longer term project
The Village Hall & Meeting Places Working Group is continuing to explore potential locations and designs for a new Village Hall. This is intended to be a longer term solution to meet the need for a larger local venue for village activities. In the first instance there are likely to be costs associated with seeking planning advice and/or design or feasibility studies, and clearly substantial costs associated with the construction itself. It is hoped that this work can be reinvigorated during 2021 as the country comes out of the pandemic.