Frequently Asked Questions







Why do we need a Village Hall?

Comments at the consultation showed the Hall was valued as a place to socialise, meet, and maintain friendships, keep up to date with events, hold family

celebrations, a central focal point for the village.


Why can’t we upgrade the existing Hall?

Why not spend the money on refurbishing and/or extending the existing Hall?

The condition of the building is deteriorating rapidly. 2018 Cotswold Surveyor’s Report highlighted key issues: roof, rainwater goods, renewal of eaves woodwork, carbonation of walls, overhaul of cladding, renewal of doors, frames and windows all indicate this is not a viable option. This year alone there has been rainwater coming through the roof, bird ingress and flooding of the floor.  Also, the size of existing Hall, is not fit for purpose.


Why were other options mentioned in the Timeline discarded?

Repairs to existing Hall would not help us to meet the needs of residents as stated in the consultation responses. The condition of the existing Hall would not warrant extensions, and to do nothing would mean we could well be without any Hall at all within a few years. To pool resources with other organisations would take time and money. We keep returning to keeping it simple, affordable and achievable, and it is a matter of urgency. Based on the research we did from contacting suppliers of different types of building, visiting other halls (including Kirtlington and Beckley), attending seminars and talking to an architect, the committee felt that the best fit solution was to build a new hall in traditional materials. To do this would be the closest fit to the design brief compiled following the community consultation. It would also give the greatest longevity.


Have you thought of selling the land and re-siting the Hall elsewhere e.g., playing field?


Yes, it was considered. Previous proposals to do so had met with much opposition from residents and plans had proved complex and expensive. The present site is

central to and part of the village, has easy access and was appreciated in the consultation. The green space is an asset to the Hall and the consultation provided ideas for making more use of it via Phase 2. We have not ruled out selling some land to help funding.


Has there been sufficient engagement with the community?

We hope that we have involved the community throughout. We held three community consultation events, extended the opportunity by enabling response via the website or hard copy.  There have been updates posted on the website, the Chair addressed the Parish Council, and we have publicized this meeting widely.  We do encourage residents to look at the website for all information as it is posted and of course to ask us, as trustees, in person for any further information.  We try to be as open and informative as possible and we will need the community to engage with the project.  We would also like to ask members of the community to let us know if they have skills and/or experience that could help us to deliver the project. 


To what extent are the plans initiated by the trustees, rather than organically from a community initiative in response to its needs?


Nothing specific arose from the consultation question “What do you want from a Village Hall” other than the need for more space. We have, in the past asked the community what events they would like to see with little response.  It needs drive and commitment to take this on which is not often forthcoming.  The trustees are responsible for the management of the Hall and for keeping it in good repair for the benefit of the community.  Significant amounts of money have been, and will need to be, spent in order to keep it open as a viable space for the community. It is while doing so that the need for a new Hall has become more and more apparent to the past and present trustees as the years go by. So, to this extent, it is a trustee led initiative and to do otherwise would be to shirk our responsibility. We would obviously like much more community involvement but it is difficult if it chooses not to be involved.







Why not make it bigger?

It is already bigger than existing Hall by 35%. It is also bigger than our original plan, which was to carry it out in two phases. Cost also figured largely in the decision. We would have liked it bigger but the whole project has to be kept simple, achievable and affordable in order to succeed where other attempts have failed.


Will there be a fence across the access to the field to ensure the safety of children using the outdoor space?

This is not included at the moment.  We have to keep vehicular access to the rear of the building but it is a valid point and is something we will take into account in the future.


What about the ceiling height? Will it be as the existing ceiling?


It is likely to be a flat ceiling because of the impact on the cost of a pitched ceiling. There is nothing to stop it being done but it will be more expensive.


Are the plans sufficiently ambitious?

We believe we are being as ambitious as possible while trying to keep it simple, achievable and affordable.  We have tried to keep the balance between ambition and cost. Previous attempts have failed, partly because they were too ambitious and so became unaffordable. The 2007 application to the Big Lottery was for £500,000, which would be well over £1million today which is simply not viable. We started with a basic rectangular space just like the present Hall and then realized that to carry out our plans in two phases could mean a duplication of costs so we decided to aim for carrying it out in one operation. Our aim is to provide a warm, dry, clean and safe place for the use of the community, it doesn’t have to be big but we have taken the opportunity to provide more.

Has there been sufficient ambition in terms of visualizing the future needs of the community e.g why is there no meeting room?

We have tried to make the space as flexible as possible in terms of use. We considered including a meeting room in the light of consultation, and it featured in the original plans we looked at. We took advice of the architect; visits to other Halls  found they were unused or could not be used in conjunction with other social events, and limited the flexibility of the space. There is a smaller area available near bar for small gatherings/meetings, similar to that at Beckley Village Hall.


Why is it not further back on the site and so created a bigger car park?

This has been looked at in detail. There are drains close to the surface that run across the site, and to accommodate them would significantly increase the cost.  Moving the building from existing drainage and utilities would again increase costs.  Pre- planning advice was against moving it further back so as to preserve the living amenities of adjacent properties.


How is the car park to be made bigger?

Car parking will be improved by marking out the existing space and adding more at the side. We also have maintained a vehicle access to the green space at the rear of the hall, which will give us some flexibility to use it as temporary parking should a large event be held at the hall.


How will the Hall be heated?


By electricity as at present. However, how it will be generated is yet to be decided.  The planning application will contain an application for solar panels but this will be subject to planning permission and funding.


What is the likely capacity, seated and standing, of the new hall?

In the present Hall it is 70 seated and 110 standing.  With 35% more space these figures will obviously increase.  There should be a seating capability of around 100.


How sustainable is the build?

As sustainable as possible within constraints of cost and affordability. Plans will include solar panels, but these will be dependent on grant funding. There will be electric car charging points.


What future proofing functions/ideas are built into the new hall plans?

Adding an extension will be possible, perhaps using the timber frame donated by the developer of George and Dragon Close. The consultation gave us ideas for patio/ decking, bbq, seating, garden area, to make more use of the outside area.


Will the project be put out to tender?


Yes.  We will be sourcing 3 quotes for the work.  Most grant applications require three quotes.

Have any local builders/contractors been contacted to assist with build?

No, it is too early to do that, but they will be able to tender when the time comes. We will no doubt ask their advice and avail ourselves of their experience and expertise whenever it is needed!


To what extent will the new Hall meet the future needs of the village and its residents?

There will be a purpose built, modern, attractive building, using suggestions from the consultation.

The space will be flexible with opportunities for a variety of activities and future expansion.  It will be as ecologically effective as possible, within affordability constraints. Future expenditure will be on providing better furniture and equipment e.g. loudspeakers, music equipment as requested in the consultation




What will the Hall be constructed of and how will it look externally

For the external appearance have a look at the drawings. Pre-planning advice stated that it is compatible with the conservation area, location, and surrounding buildings. Render is preferred to match adjacent buildings with plain tiles for the pitched roof. No final decision on other materials can be made until quotes are received. There will be a tarmac surface for the car park with the appearance to be softened by planting.


What environmental thought has gone in triple glazed windows, solar panels, recycled materials?

We would like the new Hall to be as environmentally friendly as possible. Everything comes back to costs and affordability and the ability to raise the funding needed.


How much will it cost to build?

We will need to raise £350,000 – £450,000. We started very simply, so the initial suggestion in the design brief was for work to be done in two phases, with the first phase being a simple rectangle, and given a suggested budget of £200,00. We felt that this was not sufficiently ambitious so decided to combine the phases into one project to get planning permission for the Hall we wanted and so that we could better address the points raised in the consultation as well and therefore the cost has increased.  Costs are today’s costs and of course these may well increase further in the future.


How long will it take to build?

Timing is dependent on construction techniques being used, such as whether it will be built on site or assembled off site and brought in; which would be most expensive. There is a balance to be kept between being more expensive but taking less time to erect. If built on site, it could take 9-12months, if built off site it could be as little as 3months.  It is difficult to say, but we may have to look for alternative accommodation for existing regular events.



Will there be temporary Hall space while the new Hall is being built?

Discussions with builders and planning will need to be held on how to accommodate the loss of space during the build. We may need to look at other spaces within the village, such as the school, the church and chapel, to accommodate us too. We have considered putting a temporary building on the outdoor space before demolishing the existing building but this not viable.









 How will the build be funded?


 Grants (we have already started identifying sources), fundraising activities, donations, Section 106 monies from the Cala homes development as well as existing savings. The Parish Council has already indicated that it may help us.


 How long do the trustees think it will take to raise the funds?

As soon as we have planning permission, we can get quotes. Once we know exactly how much we will need we can begin applying for grants. After that, it will depend

on factors beyond our control, e.g., closing dates for applications, changing criteria of grant funders, success, or failure. Several trustees are experienced in grant applications and residents have offered to help.


What happens if funds cannot be raised?

The project as it stands will not be able to go ahead. We might have to amend the plans to fit what we can afford, re-consider returning to carrying the work out in two phases, making long term improvements to existing Hall. However, we remain positive that we will raise the required funding and address any shortfall as and when this becomes apparent.


Do you plan to raise any kind of mortgage for the build?


We have not discussed this yet, but nothing can be ruled out at this stage. Under our constitution as a CIO this is an option that is available to us.


Will you have a FVH new build project team/

committee and what roles will be on that team?

We began the process with a sub-committee, now it is a whole committee situation which is working well, with everyone having ownership of the project, moving in the same direction and a division of labour. When the time comes, it may be that we need a project team with trustees and volunteers with the relevant knowledge and skills

to make sure everything works smoothly.


What happens if you run out of funds during the

build due to cost overruns, funder not delivering or builder going bankrupt?


The Rural Community Loans Fund can be approached in this situation. This may be a case for applying for a mortgage.


Do we make enough money to make a new Hall viable or is it a white elephant?

At present we make enough to cover expenses and have some over, and that is in a Hall that leaks heat and maintenance costs are high! There is a definite need for a new village hall to fulfil the identified needs of the residents. A new Hall will widen the appeal of the Hall to hirers, and therefore bring in more income, encourage a wider range of residents to use it. The trustees are committed to providing an

aesthetically pleasing, cost effective and environmentally sound Hall that will

benefit the village. They will do their utmost, not only to get the project off the ground, but also to ensure that it remains viable in the future. However, this cannot be done without the support of the residents, and we will count on you to do your bit, by attending events, joining the trustees in a voluntary capacity, offering your skills to help out with different aspects of the project or in any other way you can.

This will prevent it from being a white elephant.