The people at St Mary’s are committed to helping build and sustain a flourishing community in Hardwick. And with that theme in mind, we are making progress on the Community Hall project.
Just to remind you, we have the land behind the church and planning permission for a single level step free community building behind the church. It was designed by Gawn Associates and will have a 65m2 hall, a 17 m2 meeting room, a fully fitted kitchen, and toilets (including one that is fully accessible) and a store room. It will also have a toilet accessible from the outside of the building for community use by the allotment holders and users of the adjoining play park. This building will be a welcoming space for everyone in the village and available for use by individuals, clubs and societies at all times apart from Sunday mornings when we have a Sunday School during, and coffee after, the church service. We have taken care to ensure that we will still have our lovely pond, woodland and grassed area and this outdoor space will be directly accessed from the hall via patio doors. We hope that the building will support community use of the church building itself, support the use of outdoor space by the village as well as being a community facility in its own right.
Recently, we have partnered with the local building firm, Coulsons, who will provide us with their building expertise, finalize a realistic budget and then do the building work as part of their project to support the local area. Coulsons have already redrawn the site map, marked out the footprint of the building and helped us get all the planning conditions discharged.
As of October 2017 we have raised £45K and we would like to double that in the next three years through community fundraising events as well as direct giving. We have identified granting bodies which are likely to provide close to half of the additional money needed and are actively looking for other sources of funding. If you can help, we would be delighted to hear from you!
We envisage that the hall at St Mary’s will complement the proposed larger community building which is likely to be situated somewhere on the perimeter of the recreation ground at the north end of the village. In particular the woodland setting will give St Mary’s Hall a different ambience. We know that the expanding Southern portion of the village already feels remote and isolated from the village centre. We hope a community space by the church will be an ideal space not only for the growing community in the South but also a great meeting spot for whole village.