Thoughts on the Village Hall development by Charles McEwanCommunity Councilor
I enjoyed the meeting at the hall for people to comment on the plans. The architect was very pleasant and responded well to suggestions.
I have given some thought to what is proposed and on reflection I think some of the proposals are based on hope rather than reality. For example, a drop-in cafe is proposed for the Hall but as we know Shalla opened a cafe some time ago and the food quality was very good but there simply were not enough customers to make it viable. This will also be a very likely outcome for a cafe at the hall. We are therefore proposing to spend £900,000 on a project that is very likely to fail as a commercial enterprise.
I would think that a smaller scale extension to increase the size of the rooms and improve the kitchen could be done at a fraction of the cost and such an improvement might lead to bookings from groups that currently do not use hall. Such an extension could also be a place to set up a nursery school and that is something that could bring in customers from a wider area.
When I asked my daughter about how to use windfarm money to improve the village, nursery school provision was top of her list. Her friends who still live in the area find nursery provision to be very limited here.
If there was a way of encouraging businesses to relocate here, that would be another positive outcome.
The other thing which would be a good investment is a cheap and effective heating system for the hall and I have been informed that biomas heating is the most effective, whereas ground souce or solar panel heating only gives a minimal heat return and not very effective for a large building.
I have come to the conclusion that spending £900,000 on the hall is not a good idea and that our plans should be modified to be more cost effective and sustainable in the longer term.