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HWA bids to transform Hampton Wick Village Hall and Library

Friday 6th July 2018

HWA bids to transform Hampton Wick Village Hall and Library

Earlier this year the HWA and the Friends of Hampton Wick Library submitted a bid for over £60k from the Village Planning Fund to provide much-needed improvements to our combined Library / Village Hall (Bullen Hall) facility. The Village Planning Fund comes from monies paid by larger property developers to offset the impact or to meet the needs created by their developments.

Background: Hampton Wick Library and Bullen Hall were built in the mid-1970s. Little if any modernisation has taken place since then with the result that:

- The Library has to close for an hour each lunchtime as there is nowhere for the staff to eat lunch apart from in the Library itself. This would prevent lunchtime opening even if a rota of volunteers were to provide staffing cover.

- The hall is poorly equipped (heavy, hard-to-handle tables and chairs; no audio visual equipment, only two single power sockets; little storage space etc)

- The kitchen is small, poorly equipped and tatty

- A caretaker must visit to unlock the hall for each hire session, making it extremely expensive to use.

The minimum hire charge for Bullen Hall is between £65.60 (not-for-profit organisation weekday rate) and £184.00 (regular bookings, Sunday rate). The minimum hire charge for an almost identical (and modernised) hall attached to Ham Library is just £12.50! An expensive, poor quality village hall and a Library that has to turf people out and close its doors in the middle of every day – no wonder that this amenity is under-used! But the good news is that it’s fixable for about £60k.

Our proposal includes redesigning the kitchen, lobby and toilets area; enlarging and moderning the kitchen which will give Library staff somewhere to eat lunch as well as vastly improving the facilities for the Hall; installing a remotely programmable pass-code system to control access; installing a projector and screen in the Hall; and increasing storage space.

Although our proposal has not yet been passed for consultation, several key council officials and all our new councillors are committed to working with us to try to find a way for it to happen.

If we succeed, then Bullen Hall will become a flexible, attractive, lower cost venue for Hampton Wick, the Library won’t have to close at lunchtimes and we’ll be getting more use and value out of this public asset.

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