Matt Cox Community Pavilion Project
End of Year 2017 Update
2017 was a great year of progress on the Matt Cox Community Pavilion project and as we now move into 2018 the Committee thought it would be good to briefly summarise where we are, so here goes:
2017 was another superb year for fundraising for the pavilion and the Club is indebted to members and friends for their incredible generosity.
The amount of the funds we have raised ourselves now has reached an amazing £123,000. To reach such an enormous amount in just two years is a fantastic achievement – it’s almost £170 per day!
To that, we can add the further amount of £197,000 received and promised from external grant providers, including the ECB, Sport England, the Great Stonebridge Trust, Kent County Council, Edenbridge Town Council and others.
So we already have a total ‘committed’ amount of £320,000 – and the fundraising continues!
The building project also made great strides during 2017 but we also hit some hurdles that have to be overcome before we are able to ‘break ground’ on the new construction.
At the end of 2016, we commissioned a Feasibility Study for the new pavilion which provided a provisional design for the building, identified the most appropriate materials for construction and laid out an estimated budget at £350,000. Using this as the basis, during the early months of 2017 a fully detailed design and specification for a new pavilion, equipment store and parking area was drawn up. Once this was completed and approved by the committee, the planning application was submitted to Sevenoaks District Council.
At the end of September, planning permission was granted, subject to a number of conditions, and we were able to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting at which Club Members agreed to go ahead with the building project, at the estimated budget of £350,000.
While awaiting the outcome of the planning application and the EGM, a tender process to appoint a building contractor was started with three local and qualified companies invited to take part. Unfortunately the committee was unable to appoint a winner from this process because the prices submitted were too high; quotations being closer to £500,000 (excluding VAT) than the £350,000 expected.
As a result we have now moved into a second round of tendering where we are actively working with two selected partners to reduce costs and bring the project closer to the expected budget. This is inevitably impacting the timelines and delaying the project.
So what happens next?
Foundations accounted for a high proportion of the quotations received. We therefore commissioned a Geotech Survey to study the soil in Blossoms Park and provide a recommendation for the most cost effective foundation system. The Geotech results from this are due in January. At the same time we are reviewing the specifications of the new building to scale back where possible. This process will also identify work packages that Club Members can complete instead of the building company.
Our two building partners will then revise their costs and submit new quotations, which will hopefully allow us to make a decision on final build specification and select the main building contractor at the end of January 2018.
What are the Implications?
In terms of timing, we still intend to build the new pavilion in 2018 but it is now unlikely that the new building will be completed for the start of the season in May. Once we have finalised the costs and appointed the building contractor, we will need to go back to Sevenoaks District Council to address the planning conditions attached to the permission. This process is expected to take another six to eight weeks. It is possible that the new build could start in the spring and continue into the cricket playing season, or we may prefer for the new build to start toward the end of the cricket season, completing in the autumn.
From a funding perspective, as stated above, we have raised a fantastic £320,000 so far, against an original budgeted build cost of £350,000. It is therefore imperative that we continue to work hard and maintain the fund raising efforts throughout 2018 to meet the increased funding gap we will face. While every effort is being made to bring the build costs closer to the original budget, more money will be required and all avenues for new grants will be pursued alongside our own efforts. We are confident that this shortfall will be met through a combination of means.
When will we know more?
The committee intends to issue another project update by the end of February 2018. By that time we will be able to confirm the revised costs for the new pavilion and explain any design changes or compromises that have been agreed. This will allow us to confirm the funding gap and outline a new plan for 2018 to close the shortfall. We should also be able to name the appointed building contractor and put forward a timetable to show the proposed start and completion date for the new pavilion.
Members will then have the opportunity to discuss the project further at the Annual General Meeting, which is currently planned for Thursday 8th March 2018.
We look forward to turning all the plans into reality in 2018 and would wish to thank you all again for your generous support.
Happy New Year.