Proposed Design and Costs

The information on our previous update note in August no doubt caused many people a sharp intake of breath. Nearly £1m to redevelop the church hall does seem to be a large amount of money!

Our approach has been to look at developing a total solution to make the hall more multifunctional, bring it up to date and continue to be a focal point for the community in this area. At this stage it does not mean that we will definitely spend £1m on the scheme. What we have is an optimum scheme that we have worked hard to develop but we now need to look at the reality of being able to raise this amount of money. The estimate of costs provided to us by the Quantity Surveyor are, he tells us, on the generous side. However, they are based on August 2016 rates, so if the reconstruction work doesn’t start until 2018, costs are likely to rise further.  The true costs of the chosen scheme will not be known until the work is put out to tender.

The design plan and supporting information is on the hall notice board and also elsewhere on this website.


In the last few weeks we have contacted a number of professional fundraisers to enquire about the services they offer and the rates that they charge. After discussing the options with the Parochial Church Council (PCC), the council instructed the Hall Redevelopment Team that at this stage only a viability study should be undertaken and costs should be kept to a minimum. The fundraiser that we have chosen has come with excellent references, one being from Canon Michael Hunter who worked with him when he was at Grimsby Minster.

We have arranged to meet the fundraiser in the near future where we will provide him with all of the appropriate background and supporting information we have. He will then review what we give him, investigate the possibility of us being able to achieve our aims and provide us with a viability report.

  • The report will indicate to us the likelihood of being able to fund the total scheme that we have identified. Once the report has been received, the Hall Redevelopment Team and the PCC will have a decision to make about either going ahead with the total scheme or modifying it as necessary.
  • Please be assured that we will not choose a scheme that will become a burden to the church or the community. We will be realistic about what we can achieve and will not commit to any reconstruction work being undertaken until we have the necessary funds procured.
  • We have instructed the architect not to submit any planning applications until we have a clearer picture of our way forward.

Proposed Toilets

The one thing on the proposed design that has caused most concern is the unisex toilets. During our consultation period back in March/April this year two separate suggestions for this type of facility were received which were prompted by positive experiences at entertainment complexes (cinema).  Both suggestions came from ladies. It seemed like a very good idea so it was included in the design.

To clarify:

  • Each cubicle will be fully self-contained including a toilet, washbasin, hand drying facility and mirror.
  • The way that the toilets are shown on the design plan suggests that all the cubicles can be used by both men and women. However, we have received some strong feedback on this point, and after listening to the concerns raised a compromise solution is being sought with designated Male and Female cubicles incorporated into the design.
  • A redesign of the layout of the toilets may be needed and this will be discussed with the architect.

Let us hear your views

We would be interested to hear your views, good, bad or otherwise on any aspects of this scheme which can be sent by email to: [email protected] or speaking directly to members of the Hall Redevelopment team who are:

Shelagh Freer; Mike Jackson; Tony Bond; Revd. Matthew Peat and Trevor Sirrell.

On behalf of the Parochial Church Council, St Mary’s Church, Whitkirk.