One thing people are keen to hear more about on the doorstep this election is progress on the Neyland Community Hub Project. I’ve been working flat out on this project since elected and it’s taken the team and I a huge amount of time and effort to get where we are today.
For those of you that don’t know, the Hub Project is the exciting plan to replace the existing Neyland Athletic Club with a 21st Century Community Hub. First conceived in 2002, we’ve had several false dawns but finally the project is on the cusp of being realized.
Bringing first class, sustainable community facilities to Neyland has always been a key priority for me and since being elected I’ve been busy on your behalf. Following hot on the heels of the £500,000 investment in the changing and gym facility in Neyland the Community Hub project is well on the way to having 100% of the funding secured.
£1.3m has been committed (against a target of £1.8m) and we expect to hear very shortly whether we have been successful in our final grant funding bid to the Welsh Government. If we have, that means we have all the funding we need to get on site.
Here are some key facts about the project and for more information please visit the Neyland Community Hub Website by clicking here
What will the new Hub look like?
Please click the links above to download pdf’s of the plans.
What's going to be in the new Hub?
The hub will provide;
A series of meeting rooms to support our small group activity;
- Pensioners Luncheon Clubs
- Bridge Club
- Voluntary Club Committee meetings
- Sports Team Events
- A whole range of other activities run by the Pembrokeshire University of the Third Age (U3A)
A full-sized indoor sports hall, which can be subdivided into two big and distinct spaces and suitable for;
- Football / Rugby / Cricket / Short Mat Bowls
- Table Tennis
- Dancing / Line Dancing
- Stretch and other health and activity classes
- Many Other Activities (too numerous to list)
Improved bar and kitchen facilities to support community events, the sports teams and conferences and functions, for example weddings and funerals
Hot Desk facilities to support Pembrokeshire Councils community based staff, helping them spend less time travelling and more time out in the community.
A dedicated office for the Neyland Town Council Clerk
Why are the Town Council providing funding?
The Town Council are providing funding for two reasons.
1 – It makes financial sense for them to do so. By converting the money they already spend on their current building (rates, maintenance, heating, lighting, water etc) into a contribution toward the cost of building the hub the Town Council will actually spend less money on buildings over the next 25 years.
2 – The Town Council see the opportunity we have here, to provided a state of the art hub for community activity in Neyland and the surrounding communities.
What happens to the current Town Council building?
The current town council building will (once the new hub has been compelted and the town council have moved in) be converted back into its original use (2 terrace houses) and sold – the funds raised form part of the funding for the new Hub.
Is there lots of borrowing attached to this scheme?
The vast majority of the build cost is funded through grants. Nearly 85% of the construction costs are funded through grants and the sale of the 4 housing plots on the Athletic Club site.
There is some borrowing, namely the Town Council borrowing against their current building running costs (but as we covered earlier that’s simply them spending the money they currently spend on their existing building). There is also a bridging loan so that we can realise the income from the 4 houses it is intended to build on the Athletic Club site, before they are actually built, but this is being provided by Pembrokeshire Council and will be repaid as soon as the existing Athletic Club is demolished.
The Community Hub project is about more than sport, it’s about creating a genuine hub for community, right in the heart of Neyland. The facility will support community activity in this town for the next generation .