We have launched a major project to re-build the pavilion at Fifth Road. This exciting new facility will provide modern, comfortable changing facilities, an activity area for indoor training sessions and space for social gatherings and meetings. Preliminary drawings can be viewed here: Floor plan, Elevations, Site Plan.
Our fund-raising target is now £42,500
We have set up a ‘buy a baton’ scheme where a donation of a minimum of £70 (to match our 70th year) will result in a gold baton being hung in your name in the new clubhouse. Any smaller donations you feel you can make will also be very gratefully received and acknowledged on a purpose-built notice board.
The cost of this building project, including the demolition of the current “hut”, is estimated at £320,000 (including fees & contingency). A great start has been made already with £275,500 already secured: £75K from a Sport England grant; £80K from current club funds; £2K from Englefield Charitable Trust; £0.5K from Newbury District Council and £120,00 matched funding through the Greenham Common Trust via their newly launched Good Exchange facility.
Latest Project Status – updated 30 April 2018
- The first planning application was approved in January 2017 although with the condition of BREEAM excellent status being required. (BREEAM is a sustainability assessment method) The consultancy fees alone for BREEAM were quoted as £10,000 excluding the unknown on-costs that would be incurred and this made the project non-viable as far as we were concerned.
- We attempted unsuccessfully to have the BREEAM condition removed so went back to the drawing board with the architects and the help of one of our members Neil Cook. We reduced the height of the proposed building and the overall footprint of the activity area by less than 10m2 but this led to a reduced building cost of around £50k which we felt would be achievable given conditions imposed by WBDC. There were lengthy delays in getting approval to submit these plans from the steering group at St Bart’s but following a meeting in early October 2017 at which they were approved they were resubmitted with a request that the BREEAM condition be excluded.
- During this delay we obtained an asbestos report & soil & ground permeability tests and the architects were in the process of preparing the final tender documents with the hope that we could progress as soon as planning permission was approved.
- WBDC again delayed their decision but we were delighted to receive approval for the new plans with the BREEAM condition approved on 18th December 2017. We were then asked to go into the school on 19th December to meet with the Chair of Governors where we were informed that they had come up with what might be insurmountable problems in that the Department for Education (DfE) was unlikely to allow them to grant us a lease on which to build and additionally the parking area imposed by the planners (in January 2017 & known by the school prior to our second planning application!) might reduce their playing fields area below the limit imposed by Sport England.
- The school had therefore come to the conclusion that it would be easier for them to deliver the project themselves & to provide a building suitable for both our needs. The plan would be to convene a meeting with their architect as soon as possible in early January. They would, however, be unable to proceed if they couldn’t get the grants transferred from us to them and I agreed to explore this possibility. (£120,000 of matched funding from GCT & £75,000 from Sport England). The need for them to re-build is urgent as they deemed the building unsafe for use in early December 2017and no longer allow the school staff or pupils to access it.
- We attended a scoping meeting with the school’s architect on 7th February which was not promising as his vision of what was possible for £250,000 was completely different from both NAC’s point of view and the school’s sports department. At this meeting we also explained that we had spoken to the grant providers and in principal, so long as the club were provided with a 25 year partnership agreement, the building was similar to our original grant applications and we became the primary users, the grants might be transferable.
- The school believe that they now have the architect correctly briefed to deliver a similar building to the one we have approval for, although their plan is to site it on the existing building’s footprint, as a ‘replacement’ to try to avoid the need for a full planning application and also in the hope that the additional hard parking spaces that we had to provide as part of both planning approvals would be unnecessary therefore having no impact on their total playing fields area.
- There is concern that the grants will be de-committed due to the lengthy delays and we have been pressuring the school to move forward more swiftly. To this end we had a meeting with Greenham Common Trust chief executive, Chair of Trustees St Bart’s, Chair of the St Bart’s Finance & Risk Committee on 13th April. At this meeting GCT outlined the requirement for St Bart’s to provide a suitable partnership agreement that would persuade the board of GCT to transfer the grant and the school agreed to work swiftly on this as soon as the new term started. An update was sent to Sports England immediately following this meeting in the hope that their grant will also still be transferable. The school’s stated plan at the meeting on 13th is that they need to convince the full governors of the need to inject some capital outlay in order to deliver this project as swiftly as possible & hopefully by the year end. In view of the urgency they agreed to do this either by extraordinary meetings rather than wait for scheduled meetings. We await a further update.
- GCT extended our grant until the end of June 2018 after this meeting. We are currently not paying any monies into this for obvious reasons.
- Despite the delays and problems over the last 4 years or so we may end up, long term, in a better situation, simply paying rent on a building that would be maintained, insured etc. by the school for at least 25 years for a much-reduced outlay than originally anticipated. (Our outlay on the project so far amounts to around £12,000 although we haven’t paid the final architects fees).
Volunteer your expertise / time
- Do you work for or have contacts with a company that might be interested in providing some funds in return for publicity?
- Do you work for or have contacts with a company that will provide matched funding for any monies you (or our members) personally raise?
- Do you work for or have contacts with a company that might be interested in tendering or providing materials for any part of the building works that could bring our costs down? (including demolition/removal of old building, plumbing, heating, electrical fittings, decoration etc.)
- Would you be willing to join / head-up a small group that could be in charge of progressing the fundraising ideas &/or the project as a whole?
Please do get back to us with your suggestions / offers. This project needs the support of all our members if it is to succeed.