A new Community Centre for Hardwick – meeting Tuesday 6th November

An announcement by Hardwick Community Centre Working Group

 

Open evening in the school hall Tuesday 6th November between 5pm and 8pm

 

  • Did you know Hardwick will be getting a new Community Centre in the near future?

 

  • Did you know that the two proposed housing developments at Grace Crescent and St Neots Road will generate in the region of £1 million to a community facility from what is called Section 106 money that all developers pay towards village amenities?

 

  • Did you know that the Hardwick Community Centre Working Group has been established to involve the community in getting the best possible facility for the whole village?

 

If the answer to any of these questions is no, then read on, as what happens over the next three years will be to your benefit.

 

The Parish Council is involved in the use of Section 106 money that will be generated from the proposed developments in the village. The money is to be used to enhance the local amenities and to replace the loss of the community facilities at the school. The school will need the Community Room as classrooms for the expected growth in future pre school numbers. However, the Community Room belongs to the village as a community space which many of us use for groups and meetings. The Community Room Trustees have therefore agreed to help to get a new Community Centre with extra meeting rooms and associated facilities in exchange for the present Community Room. To this end, a small working group has been set up, comprised of a Parish Councillor (Steve Rose), the chair of the Village Plan Committee (Martin Cassey), a Community Room Trustee (Anne Jones), District Councillor (Grenville Chamberlain) and the chair of the Community Association (Alan West).

 

The aim of the group, set up in April this year, was to begin the process of:

 

  • Finding the best locations for the site of the Community Centre. This has involved advice from the local Planning Department on possible sites, to be discussed with residents.
  • Looking at other Cambridgeshire villages that have undertaken similar projects, including the type and size of community building, advice on how their projects were built and how they now run and are currently funded.
  • Seeking input from the local community about the range and possible use of a new facility including where it could best be sited to get maximum use and the design of the building to meet the requirements of the village.
  • When required, co-opting onto its number a range of residents who might help with advice at this early stage, such as architects, builders and/or project managers.

 

The group has begun the first two items above. We have looked at what other villages have done, we’ve had Planning Department advice over possible sites and had access to two recent Hardwick village surveys about what facilities residents would like to see in the future.

 

It might be possible to have a building with a main hall, possibly two or more smaller meeting rooms, maybe including a library, storage areas, an entrance/reception area,  possibly a designated room for a medical practice/nurse/physiotherapist and a community cafe.

 

Now it’s time for a general open meeting for residents to see where we are with the preparatory work and to have a say about how a new Community Centre can enhance the village.

 

There will be an open evening in the school hall on Tuesday 6th November between 5pm and 8pm for residents to call in to see the displays.

 

The working group will be available to answer questions and to collect suggestions. There will be village plans with possible sites marked, plans from other, similar village projects and an opportunity for you to contribute to the range of ideas about what is most important to enhance a brand new community building.

 

We think this is an opportunity for Hardwick to gain a community facility which has been lacking until now.

 

If you have any preliminary questions or comments please email them to

 

alan.west10@btinternet.com

 

 

Contact the Council
Gail Stoehr
Clerk
Hardwick Parish Council

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