A major refurbishment was completed in 2012. Since then the Hall Management Committee has worked to maintain the Hall to a high standard, with a rolling programme of improvements and upkeep. In recent years the windows in the tea-room and main hall have been replaced and the unsightly extractor fans removed.
BONAR HALL RE-OPENS!
Vice-chair Alex Thomson & Councillor Linda Munro watch as Christy Calder and Brodie Munro cut the "Hall" cake (made by Heather Clubb) at the Re-Opening celebration - Photo by Marion Turner
The re-opening of Bonar Bridge Community Hall took place on Friday 17th August 2012. Councillor Linda Munro attended at the invitation of the committee and was joined by Vice-chair Mr Alex Thomson for the opening ceremony. An excellent turn out of over 70 members of the local community was there to see a performance by a group of young musicians, Feis Aholis, followed by a very energetic demonstration of kickboxing by Mr Jason Ridley and his team, one of the regular users of the hall. Councillor Munro gave a welcoming speech in which she acknowledged the vital contribution from The Big Lottery, the opportunities for the community that the enhanced facility presents and also the dedication and commitment of Hall Committee. This was followed by the cutting of the celebration cake, which was performed by Mr Christy Calder and Brodie Munro on behalf of the community.
The winner of the picture quiz that has been running over the summer was announced so congratulations to Ella Mackenzie!
Thanks to the award from the Big Lottery (see below) the hall has undergone major improvements over the summer. There are new ladies, gents and disabled toilets. Regular visitors to the hall should be aware that the location of Ladies & Gents have been swapped to give the Ladies more space in the ante room in anticipation of more weddings & parties being held in the future.
The outside of the building has been painted in the hues of heather, with the Hall in purple and the Hall House in sage green.
The colour scheme has been agreed with the The Community Council and The Kyle of Sutherland Development Trust, hopefully to set a trend for an enhanced village frontage .
COMMUNITY SPACES LOTTERY WIN FOR BONAR BRIDGE COMMUNITY HALL
On 28th Febraury 2012 it was announces that we have been awarded £74,845 from the Big Lottery Fund Community Spaces scheme!! The funding will be used to carry out Phase 3 of the Hall Refurbishment Programme.
Welcoming the award Colin Morrice, Bonar Bridge Community Hall Chair, said: “The whole community is delighted that the final phase of the village hall refurbishment can now proceed, providing modern toilets, improved storage and external repairs & painting. The enhanced accommodation will be greatly appreciated by all our regular users, and enable us to attract new bookings such as meetings & conferences, weddings & family parties. The Big Lottery Fund investment in the fabric of the building secures the future of the hall as the hub of community life.”
Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, added: “I am delighted that Bonar Bridge Community Hall is one of the projects to share in the first round of grants from our Community Spaces fund. Whether it’s improving a community hall, developing a local playpark or improving access to a local woodland we want this funding to bring people together to improve the places that matter to them. For local people in Bonar Bridge the award of £74,845 will do exactly that by providing a meeting place at the heart of the local community for everyone to enjoy.”
The Community Spaces award will enable the improvements in earlier phases including a commercial kitchen, 40 seater Tea-Room and Community Room with proector, screen, netbooks & internet access to be fully marketed, with the final pieces of the jigsaw in place. The village hall will look better on the outside and feel better on the inside!
Refurbishment Phase 3 - 2012
The award by the Big Lottery Community Spaces fund in February 2012 has allowed work to start on the third and final phase of refubishment.
1. New toilets - both ladies & gents being upgraded to modern standards.
2. New disabled WC (where previously the table store was located)
3. Energy efficiency measures to line and insulate the external walls of the main hall, stores and toilets
4. Fit double glazed windows to stores and toilets.
5. Create a new table store in the front lobby
6. Upgrade the Fire Alarm system
7. Replace the section of flat roof over the community room
8. Redecorate internally & externally
9. New floor covering in stores, toilets and back hall
The work began on 3rd May and is due to completed by 27th July.
Refurbishment Phase 2 - 2010/11
Thanks to grant aid from Community Energy Scotland, Awards for All and the Achany Wind Farm Community Benefit Scheme, energy efficiency enhancements were made to the hall. The community room has new windows and insulated walls & ceiling. The new insulated roof over stores and kitchen is in place. The balcony has been extended to the hall ceiling and thermostatic heating control was added in the main hall for a warmer, drier most cost effective hall for 2011!
The Tea Room provided with an insulated & level access floor. This has been of great benefit to many of our users. The refurbishment also included improved insulation and heating.
The upstairs community room was framed & insulated and fitted with triple glazed windows. This has enabled the big screen to be used in comfort providing an ideal venue for family film evenings and talks!
Refurbishment Phase 1 - 2008/9
The kitchen was upgraded in 2008/9 to bring it up to modern health & safety standards and to improve the food preparation area and general workflow.
The refurbishment comprised improved energy efficiency by adding insulation inwalls (by re-lining) and roof, by replacing single glazed window and door with double glazed and blocking up a window and door. New Kitchen units have been fitted on three sides to improve the food preparation area, workflow and storage. New non slip flooring, wet walls and re-wiring will improve safety & hygiene. The new equipment includes a dishwasher, 6 burner gas cooker, microwave and large fridge/freezer.
The refurbishment resulted in a modern, easy to maintain, safe, hygienic, warm and welcoming kitchen with reduced energy costs. We have been able to attract increased rentals as a result, which aids our sustainability together with the reduced running costs.