The latest playing field news.

IMPFT Newsletter

Download your copy of the latest newsletter here. There's also a short video explaining in more detail what we are doing, and why .

Eyes and ears

If you think that there is any suspicious activity taking place on the playing field, please take whatever details you can and go here to notify the police. Please do not put yourself at risk, let the police handle it.

playing field trust news

If you are using the playing field to walk separately or with your dog, please do remember to keep your distance from others. Do not use the playing field if you have symptoms that could be Covid-19. Also, current guidance is that dogs should be kept on a lead.

The pavilion is closed for all gatherings and the children's play area and tennis courts (hard surface) are also closed. This follows the guidance and restrictions set out by the government.

With regard to the renovation; we have completed the Asbestos Survey and are waiting on the report. We have sent out building tenders to six builders, two of which have felt that due to work load they cannot tender. Obviously when we start the work is very much dependent on what the future holds with regards to availability of labour and materials. The Trustees have appointed a builder for phase 1 of the works, following the successful tender process. We very much hope we can start some form of the work in May.

Obviously COVID19 has had a massive impact on the economy and the
financial position of individuals, and will continue to do so for years to come. So whilst we are waiting to hear about grant applications and continue to apply for grants it may be sometime before we hear about grants or are able to raise further funds. We do however hope we have raised enough to some of the work if not all of it.

Bat Boxes: Thank you to David Orme who made bat boxes for us and these will be put up this month. Sadly all activities are on hold but it is great to see young and old out walking, running and cycling. Do remember that mental health and general well being will be key issues at this time so do try and talk to neighbours who may be alone and families struggling with a house full with little release.

The future Question

Following the last Parish Council meeting on the 30th July, some residents are concerned that progress on the new pavilion is at risk. This is not the case. The IMPFT remains committed to the renovation and improvement of the existing playing field pavilion. We also remain committed to having both the village hall and the playing field as this has so many more advantages for the village than a single replacement structure.

Having the two sites provides for a greater diversity of activity, for simultaneous events and it reduces the environmental impact on residents by keeping noise and traffic levels less concentrated. Residents in Pottery Lane and Post Office Road would suffer a substantial increase in noise and business if all activities were to move to the playing field site and we don’t think this would be either fair or desirable.

Both facilities are modest and this is their great strength. There are some things that we don’t intend to cater for such as badminton, swimming and gym style keep-fit, as there is more than enough capacity locally in Kintbury, Hungerford and Newbury. Stretching ourselves to provide such activities would make us more vulnerable as has been found in recent years at the Jubilee Hall in Kintbury. Two modest sites for village activity is our best hope for sustainability and will help us to ride out fluctuations in demand in the future, just as it has in the past.

Also, should either one of these buildings become damaged or need remedial work, then we have an alternative local venue without necessarily forcing people to cancel or to go outside of the village.

Some have argued that a single building option would lower costs but that doesn’t look likely when we group together insurance, taxes and maintenance costs.

Leaving aside the overwhelming case for keeping the two separate buildings, it is evident that there is a substantial level of support and fondness amongst residents for keeping these two charitable sites. Rest assured that the IMPFT supports their continuation rather than their amalgamation. A detailed view of our thoughts on this are provided here.

Appointment of Pavilion Architect

The IMPFT Trustees have appointed Peter Tomkins as the architect for the renovation of the pavilion. Paula Foxley has also kindly agreed to work with Peter. We have amended the plans to include toilets and a referee changing room, to be placed next to the improved changing rooms. We have finalise details of the design, gained planning permission for the minor changes to the design, gone through a tender process, and have appointed a builder for phase 1 of the building works. Hopefully we will run the tender process for phase 2 in early June.

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