We would like to thank the Big Lottery for awarding £10,000 which allowed us to complete the Sennen Churchtown Hall Feasibility Study.

A feasibility study (according to Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE) publication) is seen as a major step in the whole building process. The aim of a feasibility study is to help the committee examine whether a project is feasible and present the findings in a report. The feasibility study enables the committee to present its ideas in a professional way, which will help secure funding, and enables it to move on to the next stage. The study process involves both architect and project group in a detailed appraisal of the need for the project, the implications of going ahead with each option, the costs and the potential funding sources. The report also contains legal and planning implications as well as some sketch designs for the project.

The Project
To conduct a feasibility study of the Churchtown Hall (CTH), i.e. of an updated, accessible and extended facility at the Hall, in order to meet the needs and aspirations of the community, by engaging:

the community
a local architect
community adviser
local authority

funding possibilities.

What we need to do

1. Consultation to identify/analyse the demand for the CTH

An extensive consultation has been carried out, identifying a current and local demand for the CTH. A specific consultation will be performed to identify the needs of the elderly, children, youth and vulnerable members of the community. The Office of National Statistics (ONS), 2011, shows that 51% of the residents of Sennen are under 20 and over 60 years of age. In its current state of repair, the CTH is not accessible to disabled persons, particularly those with mobility issues, e.g. no appropriate access/parking, uneven grounds and basic toilet facilities. It is also not particularly child-friendly due to its very out-dated facilities.

2. Engage an architect to

a. Prepare sketch plans/outline design proposal in order to consider
results of consultations
trends in use of hall
history of building
accessibility issues
energy efficiency
b. Provide a building programme with timescales
c. Co-present at the Community Consultation Event

3. Update the CTH Business Plan

The business plan will tell the story of how CTH will look on a day-to-day basis and is a requirement by Funders. It is a document that explains the process by which CTH becomes a sustainable non-profit-making ‘business’ that meets the community needs.
Benefits of a business plan (according to ‘How to create a successful community enterprise’, published by the Big Lottery):
Enables the Trustees to show the project proposal;
Helps identify weaknesses in the project;
Gives confidence that the project has credibility;
Reassures people outside the group in the wider community that the project is viable;
Demonstrates to investors or funders that we know what we are doing;
Provides a guide to how the project will be run;
Clearly lays out the journey that everyone in going on, so people can bail out if they don’t want to be involved.

4. Set up a Community Consultation Event

Present plans to the community
Provide opportunity for the community to meet and question our architect on the proposals and express opinions/make suggestions
The community’s feedback to be incorporated into the design project and business plan

How we will do this?

Committee members to work on project and liaise with community, architect, community adviser, from Cornwall Rural Community Charity (CRCC), and local authority. The CTH committee will use the survey provider, Surveymonkey, to gain opinions for consultation. The community adviser (CRCC) will help the Committee to set up the Community Consultation Event and produce a report which will help with future grant applications.

The grant will be spent on

Architect fees (partial), consultation expenses and community adviser fees. Table 1 shows how much each item/activity will cost and how much the Big Lottery has contributed.

Table 1. Cost of Sennen Churchtown Hall Feasibility Study and Big Lottery’s contribution.

Item or Activity
Total Cost
Big Lottery’s Contribution
Architect Fees – Feasibility Study Stage (incl. VAT)
Architect Fees – Planning Application Stage (incl. VAT)
Architect Fees – Building Control Application (incl. VAT)
Community Adviser – Community Consultation Event
Consultation – Surveymonkey and Printing