The Read Room

Redevelopment of the Read Room has taken place over the last 2 years following a lengthy period during which the space, previously shower and changing rooms, was unusable due to general lack of maintenance. You may have received a letter from YKRA, the Committee responsible for maintaining and managing the hall, about our plans. You can read the full details here, view a number of questions we feel you might have, and find out how to give your views and feedback.

What's the summary?
We intend to rent The Read Room on a long-term basis to Bybrook Benefice. The Benefice will fund the completion of the room, and then pay rent for use of the space.  
Read the full letter from YKRA

News on the Read Room Development

Redevelopment of the Read Room has taken place over the last 2 years following a lengthy period during which the space, previously shower and changing rooms, was unusable due to general lack of maintenance.

Funding was raised from a number of sources, including the Community Benefit Fund from the solar farm development at Castle Combe and Wiltshire Council, as well as ongoing rental income from the hall and other donations.

When the project was initially conceived, the intention was to generate income from the space by renting it on an ad-hoc basis to users in a similar way to the main hall, with a range of possible ideas proposed:

  • Craft / hobby groups
  • Fitness groups
  • Meetings
  • Youth groups

In parallel, ongoing maintenance of the hall and surrounding facilities, particularly the Ages of Man playground, has become increasingly expensive with significant capital investment required alongside regular ongoing small-scale repairs. Approximately £8,000 on electrical repairs have been required following rodent damage and investment in the playground has been in excess of £5,000 in 2019. Meanwhile the cost of heating and maintaining the hall continues to grow.

We need to maximise the income the hall generates so we can invest it to benefit the widest possible range of people.

The YKRA Constitution sets out the purpose of the organisation and the hall:

In the interests of social welfare to provide facilities for recreation, education or other community activities for the purposes of improving conditions of life of the residents within the Parish of Yatton Keynell and the local area.

We have been approached by Bybrook Benefice with a proposal to complete the space and then rent it from us, to provide space for the management of the ten Parishes in the Benefice, as well as operating various community activities:

  • Parenting courses
  • CAP Financial coaching
  • Marriage preparation
  • Bereavement support
  • Nursing support

We believe as a Committee that these activities meet the purpose of the organisation, as set out in the Constitution.

Additionally, the proposal will generate revenue for the hall of around £25,000 over the next ten years, whilst also funding the refurbishment work.

To generate this level of revenue from ad-hoc bookings would require letting the space 2 evenings every week, 2 weekends every month and 1 full day every week, a total of 180 bookings per year. We have had no other serious approaches from groups wishing to use the space.

In order to secure significant revenue to invest in the hall as whole as well as the playground and surrounding areas, we intend to pursue this opportunity.

We welcome feedback, and we very much welcome new Committee members to help us with the management of the hall and grounds. Details are available at www.yattonkeynell.com/village-hall

James Skinner
Stephen Slade
Chris Hutton
Emma Forman
Alan Brinkworth
Zoe McGinn
Alison Eagles

Yatton Keynell Recreation Association Committee

Will other users be able to rent the space?
In order to benefit from business rate relief, the Benefice needs to hire the space on an exclusive use basis. Occasional use by other groups or individuals may be possible by arrangement with the Benefice but not on a regular basis. 
Shouldn't the space be available for the wider community to use?

We believe that the most effective use of the space is to generate funds to benefit the rest of the hall and outdoor spaces, all of which are used regularly by the wider community.

We could make the space available for individual / group hire, however this would be likely to generate significantly less revenue to reinvest into the hall. We feel that this would mean that the main facilities (Main Hall, Committe Room, playground, playing fields, car park, footpaths, toilets, kitchen etc.) would be of lower overall quality in order for a small number of people to benefit from renting the Read Room. 

Is this in line with YKRA's funding bids?
The funding sought via Yatton Keynell Parish Council from the Castle Combe Solar Farm Community Benefit Fund was for the refurbishment of the hall toilets which has been completed.

Our original bid to Wiltshire Council for funding referred to use of the space for a range of user groups. However in the period since that funding was provided, we have been unable to raise the funds required to complete the space and given the other costs of running and improving the site as a whole, we believe that our proposed usage remains within the spirit of the funding granted. 

How long is the proposed period of use?
The initial agreement will be for a 20 year term, with mutual break clauses every 5 years. Practically, this means that we could return the space to wider community use after 5 years, however we would only seek to do this if we had a clear, committed level of bookings for the space to generate equivalent levels of income. 
How can I comment on the plans?
We have a feedback form below. 

You can also write to us at YKRA, Village Hall, Biddestone Lane, Yatton Keynell, SN14 7EJ

How can I join the committee?
We are always looking for Committee members. The time commitment is around 2 hours each month for Committee meetings, along with ad-hoc activities such as supporting fundraising and other local events. 

You can use the form below to get in touch. 

Comment on the plans / join the Committee

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