There are three main strands to the project:
- to extend and refurbish the hall
- to enhance and extend the range of play equipment (completed)
- to install a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA)
The Ridgewell Parish Plan Refresh in 2010 established the need for a plan to be in place to ensure the Village Hall and Playing Field are sustainable for the future. A report by a Chartered Surveyor was commissioned and this confirmed that the asbestos roof is at the end of its useful life. As well as the need to replace the roof, the opportunity to upgrade and extend the building was included in the plan. Following extensive consultation with residents through surveys and meetings, it was decided to build an additional room to provide more letting opportunities and to upgrade the building to achieve a modern, well-equipped and sustainable village hall.
The services of architects—Inkpen Downie Architecture & Design Limited—and quantity surveyors—Burr and Neve LLP, both of whom are very experienced in community buildings, have been employed throughout to ensure that the Project is professional and of the highest standard. All of the work carried out to date has been delivered through grant funding, donations and fund-raising. Grants for earlier stages of the Project were provided by Essex County Council’s Community Initiatives Fund, The Big Lottery’s Awards for All and the Yellow Car Charitable Fund.
The Project team also identified the need to upgrade and enhance the play equipment to replace old items and extend the age range covered. A wide range of equipment is now available on the playing field to suit all ages.
A Multi Use Games Area to enable older children and families to take part in sports, such as football, netball, basketball, tennis and cricket practice, is also part of the overall plan.
Planning applications for both the hall and the field were approved by Braintree District Council in late 2015.