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Legion House Improvement Works

Submitted Mon, 07 Nov 2011 17:18

To contribute to the cost of internal changes to the Council Chamber within Legion House to enable additional rooms to be available for hire by local community groups, statutory agencies and businesses. Currently when the large Council Chamber is occupied there is no access to three meeting rooms, the kitchen or upstairs toilets.

The proposal is to build a corridor at one end of the Council Chamber and part way up one side. This will enable all rooms to be accessed. A large storage cupboard would also be built within the Council Chamber to give easier access to the tables and chairs.

When the Town Council bought Legion House in late 2009 it was seen as a community resource that could help address a shortage of reasonably priced rooms for hire in the town centre. Over the past twelve months occupancy has increased by 34% and enquiries for room bookings are increasing. Often organisations only require a room that will hold up to 20 people and these alterations would provide rooms of that size.

Currently only 3 meeting rooms can be hired out, two rooms downstairs and the large Council Chamber, when the Council Chamber is in use the 3 offices that come off the chamber cannot be accessed. Building a corridor would double the number of rooms available for hire by enabling access to these 3 rooms. It would also help the Town Council create a ‘hot desking’ office that can be hired by the hour by organisations wanting a presence in Ashby, when their main base is elsewhere. For example there has been a recent enquiry for interview facilities for people using a substance misuse service. Bookings would be on an hourly basis and would mean clients didn’t need to travel into Coalville for face to face meetings. A ‘hot desking’ office would be ideal for this scenario.

Regular bookings mean that no upstairs rooms can be hired out on a Wednesday or on most Monday or Thursday evenings. This has led to potential business being turned away.

Improving access to rooms at Legion House will support the Leicestershire Sustainable Communities Strategy priority ‘Delivering effective services’. As it is improving the use of an existing resource, ensuring it is available for more people to use and also offers better value for money for the tax payers of Ashby. Currently only 50% of the available rooms can be let, these building alterations will double the number of rooms available. Providing a wider range of options for organisations needing to hire rooms and bringing more people into the building. Offering facilities for organisations to meet with Ashby residents locally, rather than having to travel to larger towns. See below for further information.

Make 3 additional rooms available for hire within Legion House, with kitchen and toilet access.

BREAKDOWN OF PROJECT COSTS
Preliminary works £381.00
Partition & drylining £3,007.00
Joinery & windows £933.00
Decoration £645.00
Ceiling £1,408.00
Lighting & electrical works £1,436.00

TOTAL PROJECT COST
£7,810.00

FUNDING REQUESTED FROM COMMUNITY FORUM
£5,000

POTENTIAL FUNDING
Ashby Town Council contribution £3,000
(subject to budget approval)

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What projects are eligible?

Community Forum Budget funding can be used to support a wide range of new and existing projects and activities – the key test is that supported projects and activities will need to show that they are appropriate, feasible and sustainable.

To be appropriate, projects and activities should:

  • Provide value for money.
  • Be led by an eligible group or organisation (see below).
  • Link to one or more of the six priorities of the Leicestershire Sustainable Community Strategy. These priorities are:
  1. Supporting individuals and families
  2. Delivering effective services
  3. Protecting our environment
  4. Improving our communities
  5. Enhancing children’s lives
  6. Developing our economy

To be feasible projects and activities should:

  • Be able to spend the funding applied for between January 2012 and 30 June 2012.
  • Fulfill all legal requirements and have obtained the consents necessary to deliver the project or activity. These requirements and consents may include planning permission, consent from landowner(s), statutory undertakers and the Highway Authority and regulations relating to health and safety, protection of vulnerable people, wildlife etc.

To be sustainable, projects and activities should:

  • Provide some lasting or longer term benefits for the community forum area.
  • Ongoing projects should be capable of continuing without reliance on further public funding.