A £500,000 project to refurbish The Lloyd Hall in Reigate, Surrey is progressing well and is set to complete by the end of December this year.
The project has involved the rebuilding of the Hall which had been suffering from subsidence for a number of years. Despite having undergone two previous underpinning operations the hall was in serious jeopardy of becoming unsafe for use and as a result was not insured against further subsidence.
The Lloyd Hall Management Committee, known as the LHMC, is the body charged with ensuring the general upkeep and running of the Lloyd Hall. LHMC meets monthly and is comprised of villagers and representatives of the hall user groups. After months of negotiations and fundraising LHMC decided that the time had come for the hall to be transformed.
Works to renovate the venue began on site in May 2014 with Buildwise acting as the main contractor, the groundworks contractor and the foundations contractor. We caught up with the project’s Design Consultant, Ben Kirk of Oakwrights Country Buildings, to find out more.
Oakwrights became involved in The Lloyd Hall refurbishment project after being approached by The Buildwise Construction Group. Oakwright’s had worked with Buildwise before on a number of projects and so were keen to put together a design and build tender for the replacement of the Hall.
Due to the subsidence issues the building was at a point where the only option was to replace the building. Ben Kirk, who has been designing commercial properties, houses and country buildings for Oakwrights for over ten years, commented:
“We were keen to offer something unique and based around a vaulted oak frame hall. The village of Outwood has a very rural sense and much of the village and surrounding area is owned by the National Trust and so we were keen to provide a building that respected this environment and used traditional materials and construction methods.”
The design and flexible approach offered by Oakwrights helped main contractors Buildwise win the tender for the project. Due to the green belt location of the site, Ben also managed to negotiate with the planners to allow the construction of a larger replacement building.
Ben then handed the detailed design to his colleagues in the Oakwrights Frame Design team and the large sling brace frames were detailed and manufactured to work in conjunction with the traditional masonry walls of the single storey element of the building. This would provide a hybrid building built around the dramatic oak frame hall.
“The brief from the client was very well prepared and many months of planning and assessing the needs of the community were distilled in to a detailed, yet challenging, brief. The final design was one that met 95% of the present users needs whilst providing significantly larger facilities that met modern standards and ensured access for all.”
The works started in May this year and an Oakwrights site team erected the oak frame in five days before leaving Buildwise to complete the build.
During the project all of the current user groups and regular hirers of The Lloyd Hall have been helped to find temporary accommodation whilst the work is taking place. Once opened, the new hall will become the home of local social, sporting and educational groups within the village of Outwood as it has done for nearly 70 years.
The hall has been used regularly by many of the village organisations, including the Women’s Institute, Outwood Mother and Toddler Group and the Outwood Parish Council. The Lloyd Hall is also used by individuals and groups outside the village who offer exercise and special needs classes as well as by the general public for social purposes, such as birthday parties, weddings and christenings.