The trustees and volunteers that form the management committee of Chilworth Hall have carried out the first two phases of a programme of refurbishment and modernisation of the building and its facilities, which had been little changed since it was built in the early Sixties.
Works completed during the first phase, carried out over the summer of 2015, included:
Solving a slight subsidence problem, and addressing the drainage problem that contributed to it.
Repairing the disabled access ramp.
Moving a fire escape from the end of the building to one side so as to remove a pinch point on the access road, and allow for a pavement.
Replacing the folding doors between the large hall and the small hall with proper soundproof ones so that both halls may be let simultaneously.
Refinishing the sprung wooden floor in the main hall, and re-flooring the small hall to align with it.
Upgrading the audio-visual equipment and stage lighting
The cost of the first phase was in excess of £100K which was met with generous grants from Viridor, Test Valley Borough Council and the Parish Council which augmented the Hall’s own reserves.
Phase two, was carried out in the summer and autumn of 2016, without closing the Hall. A similar sum again was expended, on:
Re-roofing all of the flat-roof parts of the building using modern insulated materials, with a 20-year guarantee.
Extending the store room, which was way too small to hold all of the equipment that regular users wished to keep there (Zimmer frames, table-tennis tables, toys for playgroups etc etc.)
The second phase works were accomplished with the financial support of Test Valley Borough Council and Chilworth Parish Council. As these phases progress, the lighting, wiring and decorations are also being brought up to modern standards.
There is still a third phase for which to find funds, and this needs to include:
Reconfiguring the entrance lobby and committee room, while enclosing the porch.
Replacing the gents, ladies and disabled toilets.
Improving the car park entrance and exit, and landscape the approach and surroundings.
The committee will not seek further grants from public bodies, but will pursue other grant options. Care will be taken to rebuild the Hall’s reserves, and there will be more events aimed at bolstering them. Support for such events on the part of the local community is obviously vital, and committee members are very grateful to all those who have already turned out in numbers to support various entertainments, sales and bazaars.
If you would like to make a donation in response to the latest appeal, any amount would be gratefully received. Details of how to donate, and a Gift Aid form to make it even more valuable, are on this separate page.