In May 2016 a very proud village hall committee and community welcomed guest of honour Kevin
MacLeod to cut the ribbon at the hall reopening ceremony. This was the culmination of 5 years of
hard work to achieve a major refurbishment and extension project.
With just 180 residents and less than 70 homes, Lamyatt, located in Mendip, is too small a
community to even have a parish council but despite their size the community knows how to
work together, have fun and to get a job done. The hall was a former village school with a tiny
foot print, small playground and an ageing toilet block. Many village events were happening in
other places because the hall couldn’t house them. Eileen Zoers of CCS came out to take a look
and told us we could achieve a better hall, but it would take time and a lot of effort. How right her
encouragement and advice proved to be.
With Eileen’s help step one was a household survey which was launched late in 2011. The
results gave a thumbs up to refurbish and extend hall rather than build new. Architects were
hired to develop a concept plan. A couple of planning for real sessions later we had the ideas and
specification to develop our hall to the planning stage. Fundraising and business planning started
in earnest. The scheme was originally hoped would cost less than £200k escalated to over £300k.
Mendip DC helped with the first big grant of £30k. The Big Lottery Reaching Communities
programme said no. Undeterred the committee set a 3-year precept to raise £5k and started our
own “Giving Tree” fundraising programme. This gathered over £40k over the next 3 years, with a
steady stream of pledges and fundraisers, some on a big scale. A further survey went out in 2014
to gather evidence of how a new hall would make a real difference. The ultimate salvation was the
landfill trust funds run by Viridor and Veolia. The committee found they were near enough to their
landfill sites to apply for both. This netted a further £207k of grant. The balance came from Garfield
Weston and Awards for All.
By spring 2015 they had all the funds in place and our local builder, PA Stone won the contract for
the build. The old hall was cleared and work started on site in September.
All the usual build hitches followed including difficult ground conditions and an application to vary
the planning permission. Investment in a QS to certify the spending and work elements to draw
down grants was essential. A core of dedicated volunteers on the Hall Improvement Group steered
the project to this happy conclusion.
The resulting hall is magnificent and we are all looking forward to a programme of activities to be
launched September 2016. For further details contact Helen Rutter, Lamyatt VH Committee Email