This spectacular renovation was designed and project managed by Studio 13. We oversaw the entire project from creating initial architectural concepts, guiding the chosen designs through the intricacies of planning approval, deploying and managing all the trades required by a job of this size and then handing over the finished project with all approval signed and appropriates guarantees supplied.
For four years, villagers in Sandford-on-Thames have been working to extend and improve their outdated village hall and transform it into a community hub.
The building was opened in 1981 and previously only had one room, which was not enough to accommodate all the groups that wanted to use it.
After a £500,000 fundraising campaign, the revamped hall opened last Saturday with a community party. Colin Colbeck, 77, who moved to the village 15 years ago after his wife Maureen died, said helping out with the project had given him new purpose.
Mr Colbeck assists with the community cafe and market, which has been run by the Talking Shop volunteer group every Saturday since 2011, and which raised the initial £15,000 funding for the project.
He said: “It’s brought us together. When I came here 15 years ago the village was dead.
“This has brought the village together really, really amazingly.
“I have got to know so many people and I love it.”
Mr Colbeck also helps out as a caretaker at the hall and plans to join table tennis and sit-down exercise classes due to be held there in the future.
Mother-of-two Abi Johnson, 42, who is a member of Talking Shop, agreed the scheme has helped bring the community together.
She said: “It’s been completely transformative.
“There are lots of new groups already forming and booking the hall.
“We want there to be lots of things to bring people into the hall and get together with people they’ve never met before.”
Of the renovation carried out by architect Maya Ellis and builders Basil Wyatt, Ms Johnson said: “It’s brilliant. The architects have done an amazing job – it’s just wonderful.”
Yarnton Parish Council clerk Peter Luke opened the £328,772 facility in Green Lane as part of a bonfire celebration event.
The replacement structure will serve 11 football and cricket teams and includes changing rooms, a club room, kitchen and disabled toilet.
Parish council chairman Fred Jones said the facility will be available to teams like Yarnton FC from Friday, November 22.
The council put in £9,000, attracted £146,500 from outside sources and put up its share of the council tax to repay a loan for the rest.
Mr Jones said: “It is absolutely brilliant, we are really pleased with it. It is going to be a great facility for the community. It has been a long, hard slog but we are nearly there.”