A Brief Follow on From the Previous Newsletter

As of May 2021, when the previous Newsletter was issued, we have now gathered all the feedback.

We have been given on the ‘Concept Design Option’ (as shown in Newsletter 1), from the architects, which met all the requirements set out in the agreed Design Brief.

The feedback has been listed in a table with comments which can be used to inform any next stage of design development to produce a ‘Refined Concept Design’ on which a further consultation will take place and feedback gathered.

It is possible, that in this next stage of any process, adaptations could be made to the original Design

Brief where it was felt that any aspects of it were over-ambitious and possibly unaffordable. This would be a normal part of any refinement process.

As of October 2021, the feedback document is ready to use. However, there have been some developments which may change the timescales and, indeed, the nature of what happens next – see ‘Near Future – Decisions and Next Steps’.

Developments since the previous Newsletter

There are a couple of positive developments of note which have taken place:

We applied for a grant of £1000.00 to the Comic Relief Community Development Fund, to help with fees for advisers to help us with our thinking on possible new services and activities which might fit with our development plan. We have been successful and the grant is now sitting in our funds ready to be used for development projects!

More recently, we also applied to the National Lottery Community Fund for a grant to help us develop a pilot on the creation of a Community Café at the Hall, with proper facilities for mass catering on a specific ‘light’ café menu. This would include enhancements to external picnicking and appropriate café equipment. Again, we are pleased to say that we were successful in obtaining a grant of £8,900.00 which will cover most of what we need to do to make this happen.

This is a really good piece of news as a café was one of the top scoring suggestions from our community consultation and we now have the funding to do a really good trial of the idea with all the right equipment and materials we need! (More on this later in this Newsletter)!!

Near Future – Decisions and Next Steps

Following extensive discussions and considerations of the tasks ahead at the last three meetings of the Parish Hall Committee, and in the light of the developments on funding shown above, some keynote decisions have been made, the last of which was at the meeting on 5th October: A majority of members of the Committee have expressed concerns about the direction of travel in respect of the current ‘Concept Design’.

A majority of Committee members have also questioned some of the reasons for such a major development at the Hall and the costs and time involved.

The result has been that some key decisions have been made:

That we pause any further work on the development plan until we have the café pilot in place and operational so we can see how well that might work, as it features in the design brief at the heart of a proposed ‘community hub’, which was also a high scoring suggestion from the community consultation. We will thoroughly evaluate the effectiveness of the café once it has been operating for some few months, so we can be certain if it works.

COPYTHORNE PARISH HALL DEVELOPMENT UPDATE NEWSLETTER ISSUE 2 – October 2021

Welcome to the second edition of our Development Plan Newsletter

This Newsletter provides an update on a regular basis to the Committee and for their onward use with respective User Groups in reporting on the progress we are making with the Development Plan. In this second Newsletter, there is a very brief description of events in the process and progress since the previous Issue 1 Newsletter, followed by a ‘snapshot’ at the time of writing on where we are now in the process and what future activities are planned.

We really hope this will be useful to you in keeping abreast of the project!!

As well as waiting for some evaluation of a pilot café, we should also consider if there is any need to alter / adapt / reduce the Design Brief to see if we need to produce a more affordable and modest development.

We investigate further the funding options from grant givers, any possible sponsors and fund raising to support any final version of the development plan.

It is entirely possible, that after the café pilot and the review of the Design Brief it is decided to continue on the route we were already following with the existing process and design brief. It is equally possible that we do make changes to the Design Brief, adopting a changed development plan.

In either event, at that point when we have all the information we need, it will be presented at a further Community Consultation event, for members of the Copythorne community to comment and provide feedback to inform the next stage of decision making on the development plan. This will probably take place in the summer of 2022.

Developing Our Community Café Pilot Project

We are really pleased to be able to announce this important pilot project. The Lottery grant funding will enable us to properly equip a kitchen with all it needs to function as a ‘serving’ café and also ensure that proper training to operate it has been undertaken.

We have a lot to do to get the pilot project up and running:

Our Lottery grant ‘starts’ (is available to us), from January 2022.

We expect to have the café in place in the middle of Spring 2022, ready for a start as the weather improves, so we can serve both inside and outside the building (this gives us plenty of time to plan it properly and ensure we have the right equipment and menu!)

The café will be formed from the kitchen in the Annexe at the rear of the Hall with new serving hatch to the outside, new equipment and some additional external seating. We will also be slightly adapting the entrance to the annexe to improve access and health and safety aspects for the kitchen.

We have a number of jobs to do in respect of the offer from the café before commencing the actual creation of the café itself. These include:

How we will run the café and ensure it opens at regular pre-set times.

Who will manage and work in the café on a day-to-day basis.

Who are our main likely customers are.

The above are considerations for the small group who will plan the café. In addition, there are some other questions for the planning group which would be helped with suggestions from others:

How will we find out what people want from a café by way of a menu – given that it

is a café, of course, and we can’t do hot meals(!) But, for example, do we want to be able to serve fresh ice cream? What about, maybe, the ability to do hot sausage rolls or pasties? And, inevitably, what about cakes? (We will be doing surveys to find this out, but if you have suggestions, we’d love to hear them!)

Might we have ‘café events’ where a group meets in the café for a planned chat and a

coffee?

When would you like to see the café open – bearing on mind that at present, it can’t

be open when the pre-school is using the Hall)?

We’d really welcome your views on all the above (and any things more you can think of which might help us plan this really exciting venture)

One last point: One of the important considerations in the creation of the ‘pilot’ café, will be that we will still need to be able to use the kitchen in the Annexe for other purposes on occasions and thus, we’ll need to make sure that, under health and safety requirements, we can do that safely.

Please get back to Simon Lucas at s.lucas@talk21.com with any suggestions and ideas.

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