We are in dialogue with the Aylesbury Vale District Council Planning Office with respect to these proposals in seeking their views on the proposed use – who comment: ‘I would hope that, subject to other policy considerations, AVDC would be able to offer as much support as possible in order to bring such a fine building back into everyday, community use.’ Thus, we do not anticipate difficulties in that the previous uses have been involved with Education and Commercial Use, and have included Village Community Use in providing for Village Festival Café Use – see Appendix 10.4
The Old School Hub would provide a venue for many social and educational activities, and reduce the need for people to leave the village in order to take part in these. This in turn would result in the support of other businesses in the village, by the continued loyalty of the local villagers to local services.
Economic sustainability – achieved by lower running costs of the building, by improved energy efficiency, and by increased income by improved patronage of the building. Some of these improvement we will carry out within our project to achieve this are better insulation, energy saving lighting and well serviced, energy efficient heating.
Ways in which we will provide a safer, fully accessibly environment in order to attract more users of the Hub premises and identify where possible, the age and gender of potential beneficiaries of our project as statistics, attracting EU funds where possible.
Further economic sustainability will be evidenced by a potential reduction in running costs and the expected increase in new users, where applicable, in order to quantify our responses.
We will give details for our long term vision for the Old School, how we will attract more users, by continued marketing and publicity, and by continuing to plan in an imaginative manner.
Any building work we propose should go to local builders and suppliers if competitively quoted.
Our project will provide employment for a minimum of six people, with more potential part-time within school hours employment, and gives volunteers of which we have many the chance to raise their confidence, skill-sets and time keeping – making them more attractive for potential employment themselves.
Environmental sustainability – we are preserving an old building rather than new build, and by providing a local venue for a variety of activities, this cuts down the need for public or private transport, helps to reduce fuel consumption, and this also helps to overcome poor transport provision. By refurbishing an old building, we are reducing the need to build a new, accessible Ground Floor venue.
Social sustainability – for all of the numerous reasons given above, we will be providing many social and educational opportunities – we intend to build on our successes with imaginative use of the building, and other commercially enterprising ideas. This will enable a continued increase to the income of the Old School in order to provide the funds for future maintenance costs, and any potential employment costs as in Manager / Care-taker Part Time Salary.
By providing a venue for both educational and social opportunities for or Community, in particular child care, youth activities and facilities for the elderly, we are helping to combat the issue of social exclusion which some members of our community may be experiencing at present or could experience in the future. By conducting a community consultation exercise, and through discussion and decision making, our Community has been brought together. This is a good example of ‘capacity building’, a situation we hope will continue, when local people get together socially in the Old School ‘ActiviTEA’ Hub.