Village Hall

Tolleshunt Darcy Village Hall

Tollesbury Road, Tolleshunt D’Arcy, Maldon, Essex CM9 8UB

Update 4th November 2022

Tolleshunt D’Arcy Village Hall

The Current Position regarding the Village Hall

As most residents of Tolleshunt D’Arcy will know there has been previous publicity about the need for a new Village Hall.

Following a parish-wide survey commissioned by the Parish Council and conducted by the Rural Community Council for Essex (RCCE) which reported in May 2018, the Parish Council confirmed a desire for a new or refurbished village hall. In August 2018 a Village Hall Working Group of around 14 local people was formed to take on the task of raising funds, designing a new village hall, and getting one built. On 1st April 2019 the new Tolleshunt D’Arcy Village Hall Charity Trust was established with 7 local Trustees to formally take on the responsibility of continuing to run the current village hall and do what was needed to build a new hall.

A local Architect was appointed and initial plans for a new hall were drawn up. The plans were presented at The Village Assembly in April 2019. The initial estimate of the cost by the Architect of the necessary surveys, the demolition of the current hall, clearing the site, and building a new hall was in the region of £700,000. A year later with the effects of Covid on supply and demand the re-costing of the scheme by the Architect and a Quantity Surveyor indicated that the sum then needed had risen to £870,000.

A full and detailed bid (31 pages) was submitted to The National Lottery for the sum of £870,000. The bid met every requirement specified by The Lottery for their ‘Reaching Communities Grants’, but it was unsuccessful. The response from The Lottery stated:

Why we can’t fund your project – We decided not to take your project proposal further right now because:

  • Our application pipeline is incredibly competitive, and the panel stood by our strategic aim to prioritise smaller grants to more organisations.
  • With incredibly high levels of demand and need for capital projects in our region the panel felt that they could not prioritise this proposal when over £500k has been awarded to other capital projects in the last 4 years within close proximity to your project.

The Lottery went on to say:

What we liked about your proposal – It was a strong and very detailed first stage application in terms of research into Reaching Communities and alignment with our funding priorities, rural issues, the proposals alignment with health/well-being/social isolation issues, strong evidence of community consultation and support locally.

Research with other potential funders indicates that no one funder, other than The Lottery, will provide the amount of funding needed to demolish and rebuild the village hall.

Planning permission was needed and attempts at serious fundraising/acquiring grants for the building of a new hall could not progress until planning permission was obtained. In August 2021 planning permission for a new hall was granted.

The Village Hall was closed for most of the Covid Pandemic from March 2020 to December 2021. In addition, grant funding from many sources was being provided to help and support the fight against Covid.

As the hall started to open after the pandemic, the Trustees undertook to reconsider the approach to demolish the current Village Hall and build a new Village Hall/Community Hub. The Trustees also undertook to smarten-up the hall to improve its condition for hall users – this work is underway.  The kitchen has been refitted at no cost to the Village Hall due to the generosity of D&D Engineering Ltd. of Tollesbury. The kitchen floor has been resurfaced and a plumbed-in water heater for the kitchen will soon be installed. Also, a new fridge, cooker and cooker hood have been purchased.  A small water heater for the rear toilet has been purchased and will be fitted in early November. The Main Hall and kitchen are being painted by a voluntary group from Ford UK in the first week in November and a grant application has been made for new curtains for the Main Hall.

At the Trustee Management Committee meeting in October 2022 a report was presented that set out the current situation regarding the Village Hall and the potential costs increase brought about by the current economic situation and world events. The cost estimate to demolish and build a new hall is now likely to be 20% to 30% higher (£1.04 mill to £1.1mill) than the £870,000 previously quoted. The only likely source for providing funding of this magnitude is The Lottery. Accordingly, the Trustees have taken the decision to refurbish the current Village Hall in stages – which will provide the opportunity to seek far smaller/time-limited grants from a range of potential funders.

One of the Village Hall Trustees, a structural engineer, who has a background in construction design and development provided a detailed and helpful paper to the Management Committee which set out suggestions for the way forward as summarised below:

The Main Hall – replace and insulate the floor; construct new insulated internal walls as an ‘inner skin’ to the existing walls; insulate the existing roof and provide a false ceiling of suitable material; replace all doors and windows with triple glazed uPVC framed glazing.

The Rear Extension (Community Room and Storage Facilities) – replace and insulate the floor; remove existing plasterboard on walls and apply new insulated plasterboard; increase the insulation to the loft and ceiling; replace doors and windows with triple glazed uPVC framed glazing.

Amenity Block (Toilets, Post Office and Kitchen) – replace and insulate the floor; provide cavity wall insulation by injection; increase the volume of insulation in the loft; infill the void between the Post Office and the Main Hall to form a servery; reconfigure the Post Office room to form a new Post Office and storage; replace all doors and windows with triple glazed uPVC framed glazing.

Electric Lighting and Fire Alarm – given the age of the building it is likely that the whole building will need re-wiring.

External Finishes – remove the existing stone-dash render and replace it with new cementitious shiplap or feather board finish (this can also be applied to the faced brickwork of the amenity block); replace facia and guttering with uPVC; replace the existing car park construction; remove and replace the existing paths and play surfaces and replace with new child-safe playing surfaces.

(Note: All the work specified above will meet or exceed current building regulations).

It will be necessary to consult with an Architect, Services Consultant, and a Quantity Surveyor to determine the refurbishment options along with the thermal requirements to develop schemes for the insulation, heating system and electrical system and the costing for each phase. It will also be necessary to seek funding for a Project Manager to oversee the phases of development. The likely phases of development are:

Phase 1        Main Hall, Foyer, and Toilets.

Phase 2        The Rear Extension.

Phase 3        Post Office, Kitchen, and the ‘Void Area’.

Phase 4        Cladding.

Phase 5        External works.

The two funding groups of local people previously set up – a Grant Funding Group and a Community Funding Group, have continued with their work despite the setback from The Lottery and the pandemic, and the necessary decision taken by the Trustees that building a new village hall is not feasible. The funds currently raised (with previous expenditure on an Architect, and Quantity Surveyor) are more than £41,000

It is accepted that there is a long way to go to achieve the funding needed but the Trustees and the members of the two funding groups are optimistic, enthusiastic, and determined to get the funding needed to provide a phased approach to a refurbishment programme that will provide a modern, high standard, energy efficient, high tech, community facility.

Robert Morgan, Chair of the Village Hall Trust, said, “We need the continued support of the whole community to continue with our quest to provide an outstanding refurbished Village Hall for the people of Tolleshunt D’Arcy and surrounding villages. The Trustees are committed to make this happen please give your help by supporting events and recognising that the decision to refurbish is the only sensible way forward”.

2nd November 2022

Tolleshunt D’Arcy Village Hall Trust

Village Hall Rebuild Project Proposed Design 19/07/18

Village Hall Consultation Response

Update 27th March 2019

Tolleshunt D’Arcy Village Hall

To all parishioners

As many of you will know the management of the Village Hall has been restructured to move away from the Parish Council acting as Sole Trustee to having a more conventional arrangement where the Parish Council becomes the Custodian Trustee and the hall is run by Management Trustees.

I believe that not only will this make additional funding opportunities available for the new build project but it will lead to better management of this valuable parish asset.

The new Management Committee will initially consist of:

Robert Morgan (Chairman)

John Barber

Charles Clark

Diane Cook

Trish Heard

Alison Morgan

Sheila Ponder

and they will assume full responsibility for the hall on 1st April 2019.

We are especially grateful to Sue Sheppard the RCCE Village Hall Advisor for all her help and support in enabling this significant change.

I am confident that the Parish Council will continue to support the hall and the committee in the years ahead and our Vice Chair Lyndsey Barwick will continue to liaise with the committee.

We wish the new management team all the best wishes for the future and look forward to the time when we will meet in the impressive new hall.

John Smith – Chairman Tolleshunt D’Arcy Parish Council

27th March 2019