A new year - and a 'new' hall - approaches!
2018 isn’t far off and with the new year brings exciting times ahead for Knoydart Hall. Refurbishment of our hall has been much needed for many years now, and as its demand and popularity have increased so has our urgency to get the ball rolling. The building is no longer fit for purpose for the majority of activities held within its walls, and if we are to continue offering a successful community and events venue we need a space that is adaptable and provides room for growth.
Work has been going on behind the scenes for many years to turn our dream of an updated hall in to a reality, and in the last 12 months in particular we have made real strides to finally take the plunge and go for it. In the Spring of 2017 the Knoydart Foundation Local Development Officer (LDO) role reduced to 2.5 days per week. This post, filled by Davie Newton, had previously been responsible for multiple areas of work, one of which had been the long process of making sure the Hall operation, legals and constitution were fit for purpose. The reduction in hours meant that the LDO role had to become more focused on individual projects. It was decided at Foundation, Hall and Community level that one of two priorities for this post would be the redevelopment of the Hall. Davie’s role provides the hall committee with invaluable support and working together we are now in a position to take forward our plan to extend and refurbish the hall in 2018!!
The ‘New’ Hall
EXISTING HALL NEW HALL LAYOUT
The challenge with the ‘new’ Hall was to address all the identified needs while trying to retain some of the character of the building and not overly disrupt the surrounding environment. To do this we decided to retain and adapt the existing structure and use the ground at the back to house an extension for additional space. Kitchen, toilet and entrance facilities would be upgraded and moved to the newly constructed area, which would also contain storage, services and a community/meeting room. The existing building would be remodelled to house a much larger main hall and stage. We have also included a more inclusive use of outside spaces to the back and front of the Hall.
We are still working on a detailed schedule but at present we are hoping to carry out the works between April and August but the start date could be delayed depending upon the success of securing external funding. The hall may still be available for a short time at the beginning of the works whilst the extension is being built but we won’t know until we have our contractors in place. At present we think it’s realistic to expect the Easter Ceilidh on Saturday 31st March will be the final big hooray in the ‘old’ hall.
The dreaded phrase - “How much will it cost?”, followed quickly by “How will we pay for it?!”
Financing the project was always going to be the biggest challenge, and more often than not has been the primary reason for the refurb not happening sooner. With our design finalised we are now gathering advice and quotes to cost the project. There is a constant re-assessment of costs but are working on the present assumption of the total including VAT being around £425k.
Davie has spent an extensive amount of his time so far looking at all our options for financing the project and has put together a business plan which we hope will enable us to successfully complete the refurb and extension on time and within budget.
A significant part of our fundraising efforts will include a crowdfunding campaign through which we hope to raise £35,000 with public support. We plan to launch the campaign in late January, and it will run for 60 days. This is the maximum length available to run a campaign, so it will be a big effort to reach our target in that time frame. Our chosen platform to host the campaign – www.crowdfunder.co.uk - will allow us to keep any money raised within the 60 days even if we do not reach our target, however their commission % will be higher so we really want to hit it to get maximum benefit.
Over the next few weeks we will be elaborating on the project in further articles so please keep an eye out for them!
If you would like to get involved or support the hall redevelopment project in any way please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org