Chairman’s Report 2019

Needingworth Village Hall Chairman’s Report – May 2019

During the last year two new members have joined the management committee, namely Noel Grasse and Penny Peart. We now have a group of nine people who work together as a good team. As part of our review of the Trust deed we have contacted relevant societies/parish council and may expect some further interested parties. We would like to reiterate if you know someone who would like to join us on the management committee as a Trustee please let me or a member of our committee know. We meet six times a year and the duties are relatively light.

In July 2018 we held our annual Music Festival again, the weather was kind to us and we managed to raise £5000. Recently in March we had another very successful annual trivia quiz with 115 attendees.  The Music Festival this year will be on the weekend of the 6th July with the Preschool Group joining us on Sunday again to make it a family day. We will offer probably 10 real ales at the bar again, an aspect of the festival which has proven to be popular in recent the years. We will require plenty of volunteers so I hope members of the village will join in, help and enjoy the weekend entertainment.  The security arrangements will be the same as last year with the private security Company Kanazawa. All funds go towards the refurbishment and improvement of the village hall.  

During the last 12 months we have undertaken significant investments alongside minor improvements and maintenance. We have continued the concept of replacing lights as they default with LED equivalents. We have redecorated the hall and the small meeting room. In the latter respect we have decided to make that room the village hall office. The refurbishment of the kitchen has widened opportunities; we have had bookings for wedding receptions, one for three days etc. We had our first ‘pop up dinner’ last July, followed by another 17th April, which was fully booked with 66 covers. Our next is 9th October.

The draft income/expenditure accounts for the year show a surplus. Aside of fund raising our accounts  remain buoyant, partly due to increased room utilisation year on year but with a slightly lower use of the bar facility. This winter the bowls club purchased mats and started indoors bowls twice a week. We hope the improved kitchen will further increase our bookings as we will be able to cater for different groups. We still have vacant periods particularly at weekends and wish to encourage potential hirers to come to us rather than other facilities in the locality. Hopefully, excluding exceptional items, we will continue to be healthy in the forthcoming financial year. We now have a general reserve fund plus reserve funds to cover substantial significant improvements/repairs. The Parish Council no longer makes any direct financial contributions to the Village hall upkeep. 

I am pleased to advise I will be standing down as Chairman of the Trust and hopefully Andy Kilorad will take over. With the support of an overall younger committee I am optimistic for the future.  During my 10 year tenure as Chairman I have overseen considerable changes. My philosophy was to manage the facility as a business, during that time reserves have gone essentially from zero to a significant sum whilst overseeing the refurbishment of the old changing rooms, new chairs and tables, new flooring, storage room extension, refurbished ladies toilet, essentially LED lighting throughout, most recently a new kitchen and in hand a large projector screen in the hall for public use and potential film projections, all individually at a cost of several thousand pounds.  All the latter is in addition to a number of minor improvements and décor. Also not least a new long term lease between the Parish Council and the Village Hall Trust. We will also be making some minor changes to our Trust deed for the future management committee /Trustee association.

One of the top requests by villagers for the CIL monies is the extension of the village hall incorporating a stage and possibly other amenities for the benefit of the community, which I would hope to promote.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Village Hall management committee, whom are proactive and undertake work voluntarily making our village hub as pleasant as it is. We receive many complimentary comments about our Village Hall.

Roy Fountain                                                                                                                      23/05/19