It is fair to say that this year’s outgoing Village Hall committee did not have an easy ride. They inherited a hall in a serious state of disrepair and had committee transitional issues and reneged on builder commitments to resolve. Nothing insoluble but which required extraordinary effort and dedication. However, despite the odds, they were able to report some considerable achievements.
Fabric of the hall
Last year’s AGM had approved the spending of a proportion of contingency funds to cover the necessary repairs to the fabric of the building. Some critical faults were identified in the electrics resulting in a complete upgrade of fuse boxes and sockets.
Roof timbers need attention as do some slates along with the flat roof section of the building and quotes indicate that the roof repairs will cost around £3,000. There are also plans to roughcast (£1,000) and paint (£1,800) the exterior, all of which should improve the integrity of the building.
Activities and events
The village hobbies, indoor bowling, badminton and bridge clubs have continued to run throughout the year contributing £7.00 an hour to hall funds. There have also been well supported courses in Tai Chi, Ceramics and Watercolour with Bill Williamson donating his ceramics course fees to the Hall. The Hall hosted a Community Coffee Morning; a Winter Fair; a Kids’ Xmas Party; a New Year Party and a Spring Concert. Hire of the Hall by groups such as the community council earns £10.00 per hour while private hire achieves £100 per day.
Savings and Innovation
A change of insurers to one specialising in village halls resulted in an annual saving of just under £200
An offer of a cheaper electricity tariff in exchange for permission to erect a pole on village hall ground as part of the latest hydro electric project was warmly accepted by the hall committee. Robert Brakes, partner of Co-Hydrover, was in attendance to update the meeting on progress and answer any questions. Work to erect the pole and install the necessary connection box etc. should begin late summer and when in place should provide a 70% tariff reduction while the turbine is running.
It is anticipated it will run for 10 months of the year and the supply will automatically revert to the grid and the existing tariff for the months of July and August. During the installation the personnel will stay on site in a caravan and use the hall’s facilities, providing additional rent to the hall. In addition, and in line with the existing Baron Turner scheme, the Ardentinny community will receive 5% of the profits per annum, paid through Ardentinny Renewables Trust.
Therefore, despite the challenges, the committee achieved improved integrity of the building and significant savings both now and for the future while running a full programme of activities and events.
It was agreed to establish a ‘Friends of Ardentinny Hall’ programme to boost funds and to begin a hall membership drive while also looking at the current and previous versions of the constitution with a view to deciding if further changes are required for members to vote on.
Returning and newly elected committee members are: Guy Elder (Chair); Clair Tierney (Secretary); Susie Robertson (Treasurer); Merle Ferguson (bookings); Margo Hendry.