Lots has been happening with our project – we’ve just been so busy we’ve not updated it here!
We now have the detailed drawings from the architect which give you a better idea of the layout:
The split into separate projects:
We have been in this phase up until now. We made initial plans, did a small initial survey of users, made more plans, then did the huge survey delivered around Penistone, asking what our users and the people of Penistone wanted. We have worked through many drafts of the plans with our architect to get it exactly right. We have had surveys done on the condition of the building, the structure, asbestos, drains, wiring – you name it, we’ve looked at it! We’ve applied for planning permission for the external changes and it’s working its way through the planning process. We have negotiated a lease with Barnsley Council – we are just waiting for cabinet approval. We have applied for funding and have some of that, and are still working on applications to other funders. We still have plenty of funding left to find.
Project 0 – Energy saving
Our first successful funding application was to Blackstone Edge Wind Farm Community Fund. They are giving us £25,000 towards main roof repairs, putting a new, warm roof on the back extension, LED lights in the main hall and new A-rated windows on the front elevation and side of the office.
These measures will not only save us lots of energy, reduce our running costs and be better environmentally. They will also replace old fittings and repair the centre, saving us from these maintenance costs in the future and improving the fabric of the building.
We were pleased to get started with this:
Unfortunately, this is not quite going to plan, as when the roofers went up onto the main roof, they found that almost all of the glazed panels were broken and the support beams are rotten. We are having to launch our planned fundraiser early, to try to get money towards this repair, as it is not part of our budget. If you can help us with a donation, please look at our JustGiving page.
Project 1 – Internal changes
Our main project 1 funder will be EPIP, which is European funding and linked to Brexit. Our expression of interest has been approved by EPIP and we are working with them to get the full application submitted. This includes getting the work out to tender with building contractors, so we have prices rather than estimates. We are also still applying for a couple more small funders for project 1. Our plan is that the main work on project 1 will take place over the Summer, and that will involve closing the centre for an amount of time – how long, we aren’t sure yet. It will be possible to do some work earlier, while the centre is still open.
Project 2 will mean we can separate out gym users, people in the hall and those in the side rooms and café. It will mean we can run more activities at once and start several new projects, like a club for older people with fitness, social activities and the café. We’ll be able to use the whole hall for skating, as parents will be able to sit in the café and look out of windows into the hall rather than needing to be in there. During skating, the meeting room can be used to put on skates, and at other times it can be used for treatments or meetings. The changing space will allow more severely disabled people to use the centre, and will be available to people attending other events in Penistone as well.
Project 2 – external changes
This adds all the external changes to the plan (apart from the main extension). So we will then have the ramped access and changes to the fire exits, and the parking and pathways around the front of the centre. The extra external storage will be built, so we can keep all the equipment for all our new activities. Project 2 will also add some extras inside, like plastic panelling around the main hall to stop the walls getting scuffed, and sanding, polishing and remarking the hall floor. We plan to put a movable partition 2/3 of the way along the hall, so it can sometimes be split into 2 rooms for 2 different activities, giving us more spaces and flexibility.
We have started to apply for funding for project 2 and hope to do the building work for this at the same time as project 1, over the Summer. Again, some could be done at different times while the centre is open.
After project 2, the centre will be fully accessible to everyone, and we hope to welcome many new people to the centre.
Project 3 – the big extension
This is when we will build the extension for the gym, making space for more classes in the back room. It will also include the changing rooms, showers and extra toilets.
We are not applying for the funding for this yet, we hope to complete this part of the project in 2020.