Findon Hall - re-roofing 2020
Most people in the village will be aware of the works going on to repair the roof of the village hall. The existing roof had become porous and the Committee has been fundraising for some time to finance the replacement of the roof. Our architect friends at Colin Armstrong Associates prepared drawings and Ramsay and Chalmers Engineers provided us with drawings and a bill of quantities to allow us to get prices for the work to be done and the committee set about applying for grant. Finally, an offer of grant was received from the FCC Communities Foundation followed by a smaller amount from the Energy Savings Trust which allowed us to think that the vision of a warm and watertight hall might become a reality! Highland Council also gave us £4300 representing third party funding as required by FCC Communities Foundation which is a not-for-profit business that awards grants for the community projects through the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.
We now realised we could afford to paint the hall as well which was going to make a huge difference to the building. ARK Estates had also gifted us a cycle shelter but this would need to be installed.
Work began as soon as lockdown lifted but we quickly realised that additional work was required.
The window cills of the hall were crumbling and needed repair. The boiler room doors were rotten and so was much of the outer cladding of the boiler ducts - more money! A further business grant was awarded due to COVID and it was decided that we would try to upgrade the existing toilets. Findon Hall has never had a proper toilet suitable for wheelchair access as there was no space within the existing toilets. That was disgraceful in this day and age but it had always been prohibitively expensive. However, when added at the same time as the new roof, it became more achievable. ARK Estates offered to pay for that extension to allow the work to be done at the same time as the roofing and with a huge effort from Colin Armstrong Associates, ARK, Highland Council and IBI Joiners the relevant permissions were gained in record time. We now have a full disabled toilet with space for child changing and we were able to upgrade the existing toilets as well! Our contractors helped hugely with this. ANM Electrical donated lighting and Gavin MacDonald Flooring laid the new safety flooring free of charge.
Outside more work was required which we hadn’t initially anticipated. A new path was required to come from the new fire exit. Travis Perkins donated slabs, concrete and sand for the path which was laid by Russell and Struan MacKenzie of Aardvark Plant at no cost to the hall and they also tidied the area in front of the newly installed cycle stand with some tar.
Back inside the hall, we had at one point looked at improving the Committee/Community Room by insulating it, repainting it and improving the door but we didn’t think the finances would allow. We would really like to make better use of this room In future for book groups, reading groups, craft groups, etc but it was cold and dreary. We applied to Highland Council who gave us a further grant. This was matched in kind by our generous contractor, IBI Joiners who insulated and repainted the room and ANM Electrical who improved the lights and tidied the dangling cables. IBI Joiners also cleared some of the garden to the rear of the hall to make this a more usable space. Many thanks to all of those contractors, organisations and individuals who contributed to the hall upgrade as it grew arms and legs!
It would have been brilliant to have had an opening BBQ or party but that isn’t going to be a possibility in the short-medium term but hopefully the hall will be able to open soon for some activities. We hope that the level of insulation together with the automated lights in the store and toilets will reduce costs for the hall and that together with the new cycle stand to encourage cycling, will improve the environmental footprint of our hall.