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Join the trustees, partners and stakeholders to work towards an exciting new Centre.

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Many people will already know that the trustees of the Perranwell Centre have declared their intention to redevelop the existing village hall by building a new Perranwell Centre. Work has quietly proceeded through 2019 and 2020 and has now reached the point where we have a comprehensive ‘concept design’ that can be shared with a wider audience for consultation. The trustees have been following the process recommended by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), which is divided into eight stages, numbered – somewhat curiously – from 0 to 7.  We have reached the end of Stage 2, which has resulted in a concept design. The report of this stage, complete with drawings of the possible new building and its floor plans, can be found on our website.

The design is not entirely fixed and will probably be subject to amendment and alteration, depending on the outcome of the consultation process. However, the design is at a sufficiently advanced stage to allow stakeholders, that is, anyone with an interest in the new building, to understand clearly the logic behind the design and the way in which the building has been devised.

The present village hall was built in 1971 and has been a remarkably successful space. It was well designed and has been enormously well used, and we do congratulate our predecessor trustees on their achievement. But, coming up to 50 years old, the hall is of its time and is now showing its age. In recent years, the trustees have explored many ways of improving the existing structure, such as extra insulation, acoustic panels, better lighting, etc., but none have been found to be feasible. Two crucial reports were commissioned. The first was an energy efficiency survey in 2014, which reported that not only did the building have the lowest possible energy efficiency rating, but even attempting to add substantial extra insulation would make very little difference to the hall’s overall energy performance; thermally speaking, it’s an inherently leaky building.

The second report was of a structural survey conducted in 2018 which concluded that, while the main structure was surprisingly sound and not actually rotting, the building had exceeded its expected life-span and would, in any case, be unable to bear the weight of any additional insulation or other improvements that would need to be hung on the structure.

Other problems have emerged over time.  Acoustic insulation is extremely poor, with noise from one area disturbing activities in other areas.  There is no effective way to reduce problems of noise pollution within the building. Acoustic curtains were tried in the west room, but produced only a modest improvement. The current heating system is inefficient and inadequate, and the lighting system is poor and inflexible. The sprung floor in the main is nearing the end of its useful life and is subject to frequent repairs. The stage is outmoded and inadequate for modern productions. The pre-school have tried to make the best of their premises, but ought to have better. The exterior of the building requires increasing maintenance as various materials age and expire. Even the drains are producing problems, with blockages, collapses and the recent discovery of an unwelcome reverse slope.

None of these problems is to denigrate the efforts of our predecessor trustees. When constructed in 1971, the new hall must have seemed like a palace. And next year – coronavirus permitting – the trustees do intend to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the present hall. However, the trustees have had to face the problems fairly and squarely: should we invest considerable sums in refurbishment that we know would largely fail to resolve the problems and would represent poor value for money, or should we go for redevelopment to provide an energy-efficient and sustainable building for the next 50 years? We chose redevelopment.

In order to reach the current concept design, various surveys have been conducted to elicit the views of regular users of the hall, and discussions were held with other key stakeholders, namely, Carnon Downs Drama Group, Age UK Cornwall, Perran-ar-worthal Pre-school and Perranwell Football Club. At this stage, the concept design has their broad support, although some matters will be subject to further discussion and amendment.

The concept design has been shared with the parish council to seek their support for the recommendation of our architects to build the new centre at the edge of the playing field, which, the architects say, would meet the requirements of stakeholders and make the most effective use of the site. The reasons for this are explained in more detail in the concept design report.

The trustees now intend to consult three further groups of stakeholders for their comments on the design: first, all the regular users of the hall; second, all residents in the vicinity of the village hall; and third, the wider community in the village. In parallel with this, the trustees will be seeking funding for the next stages of the design process.

The rebuilding of the Perranwell Centre is a major project for the village. However, in developing our proposals, we have worked cautiously and methodically through the process defined by RIBA. These proposals have been carefully developed over time with stakeholders and, at this stage, already have widespread support. The incorporation of the Ruth Collins day centre in the redevelopment, which has the support of Age UK Cornwall, will resolve a longstanding issue in the parish; the pre-school will acquire new, healthy premises for local children; the football club will be better integrated within the community with this new facility; the drama group will acquire a wonderful modern theatre, which will enable productions to be staged without affecting other activities; and the new building will provide a fantastic new venue for a wide variety of social events. This new centre will bring enormous benefits to our community. We hope very much that the community will now give its practical and wholehearted support to the project.

Colin Bridges

Chair of trustees

The Perranwell Centre

Questions & Answers 210102

Structural survey 2018_compressed

Energy efficiency combined report

Stage 2 Final Report Part 1

Stage 2 Final Report Part 2

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