The hall had over 75 bookings in the previous year however, the Committee were aware that they were losing bookings for events which required catering facilities – the hall at that time only had a kettle, microwave and sink!
The local community had already raised nearly £18,000 over a number of years and applied for grant funding to reach their final target. The grant contributed towards the costs of constructing and equipping the kitchen.
What were your steps to success?
- We had quotes from three builders and used a local builder who was not only the cheapest but was very happy to work with our volunteers.
- We worked with an architect who lived in the village and did the plans for the kitchen on a cost price basis and we were fully aware of the timescales for planning permissions, building regulation etc.
- We displayed the plans in the village hall, so everyone had a chance to see them and minor improvements were suggested and implemented as a result.
- We applied for two grants thinking we wouldn’t get both (or either) – it is worth asking.
What learning would you like to pass on…
- We have 13 committee members, but delegated key decisions to four members to speed up decision making – we did keep the whole committee informed of the decisions along the way.
- Make sure you have a contingency fund for any unexpected building costs – they will arise.
- Use the community and keep them involved – people have amazing skills.
- If you ask for funding from more than one source be specific about what part of the project it is for. We let the Foundation know as soon as possible that we had received another grant, but we could show that this was for a different part of the project (and not duplicate funding which was important).
‘Involve your local community and keep them involved….people have amazing skills’.
We have finished our new kitchen apart from a few wall tiles. We have had so much help and everyone feels proud of the project – it has drawn the community together!