Horton, Ilminster, Somerset

again

The New Village Hall

How it all happened...

The old "Victory Hall" had been in service since 1919 having been built in 1822 as a Church of England Chapel.  It stood beside a busy road and had no off-road parking.  

 

By 2002 it was becoming clear that the hall was too small to meet the needs of the community and by 2004 was in need of substantial repair.  

 

In the same year, following a village open meeting & survey, the hall Management Committee was mandated to build a new hall that would meet the needs of the community.  A 2.5 acre site situated on the south-western edge of the village was purchased and had stunning uninterrupted views of the Blackdown Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

 

Planning permission was given and the huge undertaking of raising funds for project got underway.

 

The Architect was given a brief to design a building with a budget of £250K for the building and another £50K for external work. The design was to have minimal impact on the environment and use sustainable building practices including Photo Volcaic electricity generation, air-source heat pumps for heating and air conditioning, wall and loft insulation together with a Bio-rock sewage treatment plant - probably the first in the area!

 

4 years of intense fundraising raised £100K in cash and with confirmed grants of almost £150K, notably from the Parish Council but also from Distict and County Councils as well as private donations, it was clear the project was fast approaching the day when the builders cound move in!

 

With a firm expectation of sale proceeds for the old hall in the budget, tenders were sought to start work in the summer of 2008.  After much deliberation, the Management Committee accepted a fixed building cost of £338,000. Work commenced at the end of September 2008 and the hall finally opened in August 2009.

 

Significant cost-savings were achieved by local people volunteering their services and expertise to complete a great deal of the final internal installations of kitchens/toilets and decorating and tiling.  

 

The "Grand Opening" coincided with the Annual Flower Show & Fete starting with a unique ceremony where some 400 villagers and friends cut the ceremonial ribbon with each person taking a small part away printed “Horton Village Hall – together we made it happen 2009” - the motto throughout the 5 years of the project.  

 

The Management Committee would like to thank so many people who contributed to the completion of the new village hall. The expertise shown by builder Robin Sibley & his workforce, Greenstock Refrigeration for the installation of the air source heat pumps and Southern Solar for the PhotoVoltaic cells.  Our architect Chris Baronowski who also designed Ilton’s Village Hall.

 

With a firm expectation of sale proceeds for the old hall in the budget, tenders were sought to start work in the summer of 2008.  After much deliberation, the Management Committee accepted a fixed building cost of £338,000. Work commenced at the end of September 2008 and the hall finally opened in August 2009.

 

Significant cost-savings were achieved by local people volunteering their services and expertise to complete a great deal of the final internal installations of kitchens/toilets and decorating and tiling.  

 

The "Grand Opening" coincided with the Annual Flower Show & Fete starting with a unique ceremony where some 400 villagers and friends cut the ceremonial ribbon with each person taking a small part away printed “Horton Village Hall – together we made it happen 2009” - the motto throughout the 5 years of the project.  

 

The Management Committee would like to thank so many people who contributed to the completion of the new village hall. The expertise shown by builder Robin Sibley & his workforce, Greenstock Refrigeration for the installation of the air source heat pumps and Southern Solar for the PhotoVoltaic cells.  Our architect Chris Baronowski who also designed Ilton’s Village Hall.

 

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