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Funds award unlocks door to Kingsclere Village Club repairs

Club to pursue heritage statement before work can begin

Jonathan Ashby

Jonathan Ashby

jonathan.ashby@newburynews.co.uk

Contact:

01635 886637

Funds award unlocks door to Kingsclere Village Club repairs

THE next phase of the makeover of the Kingsclere Village Club can now begin after it secured £34,000 of matched funding from Greenham Trust.

It was announced in March that the charity had secured a £34,500 grant from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council for the redevelopment of the George Street building.

A further £34,000 has now been secured which, in addition to £3,860 of the organisation’s own funds, means that the next stage of the redevelopment can begin.

As well as fixing leaks in the roof, the charity plans to install a new heating system and replace all the club’s external windows and doors to make the building more energy efficient.

Significantly, as the building is a heritage asset in a conservation area, a heritage statement must now be created before any work can be done.

Club chairman Sharon Morris said: “The terms of the Basingstoke and Deane funding was that we couldn’t do anything until we had all of the money, so we have the matched funding from Greenham Trust and we have to put in some of our own funds.

“Now we have the money, it really unlocks a lot of doors for us.

“If we didn’t have the funding then the building would be falling into a state of disrepair.

“One of the library doors for example is falling off, and others have been sealed up because they can’t be used.

“People already report feeling cold in the building and that’s due to inadequate heating and the draughts.

“The building is deteriorating and it needs a lot of tender loving care.

“We have big plans over the years ahead, but let’s get through this one first and see what we can achieve thereafter.”

While work on the roof can go ahead without planning permission, the nature of the listed building’s windows and doors make it a challenge for permission to be secured.

Mrs Morris continued: “Part of the grant is to replace the windows at the front of the house with heritage uPVC double-glazing, which is premium, but it’s been noticed that we have heritage glass, so we have the original glass with little bubbles in that we’re not allowed to get rid of.

“We’ll need to get them rebuilt into slim, wooden double-glazing using original panes, otherwise it won’t get through planning, and rightly so.

“Also, getting plans to replace doors through the building has not proved easy over the years.

“The conservation officer has been reluctant to allow us to make any changes.”

The Kingsclere Village Club is a community hub within the village, with several local groups operating out of the building.

The threatened Kingsclere Community Library occupies a downstairs room, while various local associations and groups – such as the Kingsclere Heritage Association – operate from different rooms in the building.

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