BLF New Build Project Update  - November 2019

The Project Team has held several project meetings this month; with the BLF, our Quantity Surveyor, parish council chairs, our Ward councillor, the potential construction company and architects.  The project is currently estimated as being over budget but we are continuing to challenge our own specification and the contractor’s cost plan.

The overall objectives currently have been to:

1  take cost out of the current building design

2  challenge the contractor on their costs, especially the external and substructure works       

3  consolidate agreed changes and obtain a new price

4  explore additional funding

5  keep our stakeholders and communities informed

Additional External costs included the provision of equipment to manage water drainage and a powered sewage treatment plan. The necessary calculations were made using the full hall capacity of 140 people as the guide. The professionals were asked to re-think this given the actual pattern of usage.  An attenuation tank is now required, which collects both roof and surface water from the site, and is designed to release the collected rain water at a specified rate so as not to create flooding downstream from the brook running at the western end of the site.

Retaining walls are needed for two slopes on site if we build. These were unforeseen when we submitted our plans to the Lottery in October 2018.

Post-build site trees and plants planting were another such cost which we excluded from the current project costs thus keeping all available funds for the build itself. Post-build the plan will be to have a community action to cultivate the site with trees and bushes and thus meet the terms of one of the conditions attached to the planning permission.

As advised last month, there is an opportunity to apply to the BLF’s so-called England Committee for additional funding. The application to this committee, which is prepared by the BLF in Manchester (who hold regional funds) and the BLF’s Capital Programme Manager, will not now be sent for their November meeting. We are currently working with revised ‘estimates’ of the tender quotation. Time is needed to prepare new drawings and have the changes costed by the contractor. This exercise should give us an accurate figure for the build cost.

Armed with accurate costs based on new drawings we believe the regional BLF team will stand the best chance in convincing the England Committee to agree to more funding.

That meeting will be in January 2020 and all supportive information must be with the regional team by mid-December 2019 so they can finalise their application on our behalf.

BLF Project Team