Kirksanton Village Hall contacted the Fund in September 2015 and secured a Development Grant to undertake a number of stages to get the organisation in a good position to enable them to move forward with their proposed plans: Building condition survey, architect drawings, energy audit and their planning application to Copeland Borough Council.
They also had an access survey undertaken by Copeland Disability Forum. The surveys supported the need for the improvements and placed them in a stronger positon to apply for funding both locally and nationally.
The Kirksanton Village Hall committee drew up a building improvement plan to upgrade the facilities to provide a sustainable, up-to-date building for a vibrant Community Hub. Some targets were achieved in 2016 i.e. roof space ventilation and insulation, and double-glazing.
This project is to build a two storey extension to incorporate a fully equipped kitchen, a cloakroom facility, separate storage rooms, toilet facilities and access that meet the criteria of the Equalities Act 2010, plus a disabled parking bay. Planning permission was granted in August 2016. The improved facilities will:
(i) Encourage individuals, previously excluded due to access issues, to be included in local community events and activities,
(ii) Bring more people together to cater for their well-being and reduce rural and social isolation,
(iii) Maintain and develop a strong community, and,
(iv) Provide a safe and accessible community refuge centre.
In April 2018 all funding was secured and work will commence as soon as possible – with a celebration event before the end of the year.
Anne Harrison, project lead, said “It has been a long process but we are thrilled to have secured all the funding and are confident that the project will encourage more usage as access to be the building will be much easier – as will visiting the facilities! It’s been a team effort to get us to this point, once complete users can come to events in the building knowing that it is going to be a warm, welcoming place, where people can come and meet to socialise locally”.
Other funding from: Big Lottery, Dong Energy and Hadfield Trust.