Following the decision to refurbish both the Queens Hall and Library, the Parish Council commenced detailed planning on refurbishment activities. A
refurbishment working group was created to oversee the management
and financial control of the programme. This group also included
representativeness from organisations who use both buildings, so that building
knowledge and usage could be considered as part of the decision making.
Given the size of the
expenditure of the task, after an extensive tendering and interview process in 2017, the
council appointed BowmanRiley as consulting architects and project managers for
the Queens Hall. During 2018 the refurbishment group worked with
BowmanRiley Architects to agree a development brief and seek competitive tenders
from five firms. Two of the bidders were subject to an additional review,
following which the Parish Council adopted the BowmanRiley recommendation
to appoint the Leeds based firm JP Wild to carry out the building work for both
the Queens Hall and Library.
Planning permission was required for the back extension and the
replacement windows in the Queens Hall. The application
documents are available to view on the Bradford Council website: https://planning.bradford.gov.uk/online-applications/(Bradford Planning reference: 18/03328/FUL).
The Parish Council has also approved plans to borrow £575,000 to be repaid
over 25 years in order to fund this work for the Queens Hall and Library. During the village consultations on
refurbishment, the planned repayment period was 15 years. On balance, the
council felt that a further precept increase to support a repayment over 15
years was not desirable, and that repayments over 25 years would minimise the
impact on the current precept. Options
to repay this early will be sought as and when opportunities present themselves.
discussions with Bradford Council on the freehold of the Queens Hall, BDMC have
declined both to transfer the freehold of the Queens Hall to the Council, and to
contribute to the refurbishment programme. However Bradford Council were prepared
to extend the Community Assets Transfer lease from 50 to 99 years, and this is
something which the Parish Council are progressing. This applies to all the
parks and other assets recently transferred as well as the Queens Hall.
Parish Council have already approved a cost of £365,000 to refurbish the Queens
Hall. Less a 10% contingency, BowmanRiley and JP Wild have refined the schedule of work in order
to agree a work package of £323,000. This will now be progressed over the next
few weeks in order to start work on the Queens Hall in February 2019.
A full schedule of works for the Queens Hall can be found here