Fartown Village Hall

Background: The building was under used and run by an aging committee and with no income for upkeep the building became run down, poorly cleaned and had a leaking roof.

Although it has a large hall, a lounge and a decent kitchen facility for catering purposes, there were only 5 user groups and three forming members of the committee.

This group was growing frustrated and concerned that their time was being dominated by the infrastructure of the building instead of the activities they ran.

The Project: I was approached by the committee (in my previous position of Business Development Manager for Fresh Horizons) as they was told by Kirklees Council we were experts in Facilities Management, so we decided to work in partnership which allowed them to concentrate on their activities.

I created a marketing strategy which included a relaunch, open days, outreach / networking attending networking events and use of social media (Facebook/Twitter)

I used my network of locally employed staff, volunteers and their family networks as agents to promote the building.

The building was refurbished by a local construction team and brought up to DDA and health and safety standards.

The Result: Over the past 3 years we have drawn down grant to fit remote access, new boiler, loft installation and thermostatic controls.

The building has been decorated throughout.

Occupancy levels have increased from 8% to 80%.

A wide customer base from Older People Groups to Dance groups.

Secured anchor tenant South Kirklees Day Care Services, and regular users such as Age Well, Avenue 2 Broadway, Lighthouse Church, Kirklees Council, NHS, All Together Better, Luncheon Club, Young Peoples Services, Tai Chi classes.

We have had Open days, Job Fairs and Networking Events.

Income has increased from £3,000 to over £25,000 a year.

“I feel the partnership between Fartown Village Hall Committee and Morris at Fresh Horizons has worked well as we have taken over all infrastructures for the building which has allowed the Committee to focus on their activities. We have generated enough new customers which has allowed Fresh Horizons to be paid a management fee, but not only that it has allowed us to use the Community Centre as a focal point to advertise our services. We work well with the committee as we meet with them regular so they still have power of the building and everything is transparent”.

MS – Chair of Management Committee

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