Below you will find a brief introduction to the valued Whitminster Pavilion and the project to rebuild it.
The present Pavilion, located on the playing field, near to the school, was preceded by a selection of tents and caravans. It is an ex- SAS wooden building; purchased, transported and erected by voluntary labour to provide a lounge with bar, modest cellar, kitchen, toilet, changing and shower facilities since it was opened in 1987. Licenses for the sale of alcohol and public entertainment have been held for many years and will continue to be upheld.
Internal and external maintenance over the years has included; replacing the roof to remove asbestos, the addition of a shower block, replacement of some windows and decoration. The building is wooden floored with no foundations, being built on brick pillars. Its deterioration is rapidly increasing.
Located to the rear of the Whitminster C of E Primary School, in the heart of the village, the playing field is used by all ages on a daily basis, including the school, which enjoys car park usage during school hours under license to the Gloucestershire County Council, and has free use of the field for playtimes and sports days. The playing field and pavilion is accessible by foot to the whole community; the village boundaries being not more than 1 ½ miles in any direction, and has become a center for our village outside activities and fund raising events. The car park currently has capacity for approximately 20 cars.
Vehicular access from all areas is excellent with Junction 13 off the M5 being only ½ a mile away. Bus routes to the North to Gloucester and the South to Bristol are situated ¼ mile away on the main A38. Buses also provide services to Stroud in the East and the Severn side villages in the West.
The Whitminster Village Hall & Playing Field Management Committee (WVHPFMC) has developed the Playing Field, with support from the Whitminster Parish Council, installing a skateboard ramp, hard surfaced area for basketball/goal shooting and a rock ‘n cross seesaw, and has developed a new play area comprising of swings, a slide, an all-inclusive roundabout and other equipment including picnic tables with the help of a group of Mum’s called the Whitminster Fun Bags with fund raising activities in 2016. The WVHPFMC also ensure that the playing field is kept maintained to a high standard for Football and Cricket activities.
The Whitminster Football Club moved from their very basic previous home to the better facilities provided by the playing field but sadly folded in 2018 when Cotswold Rangers Football Club their teams to Whitminster. The football teams play at the weekend during the football season and also practice on the pitch and field all year round.
A Cricket Club was formed in the following years by enthusiastic members of the community. Cricket matches on Saturday and mid-week have become a huge part of our community’s life as well as youths and families from the village creating their own matches.
Whitminster’s population has trebled since the Pavilion was first built, and a further housing development of 32 houses very near to the Playing Field is nearly completion. And there are now proposed larger developments in the future for over 1350 homes. The community has evolved from its farming roots and the needs associated with leisure time and services are changing.
As it is the only community sports and leisure facility in the village, it is essential for the Playing Field and Pavilion to be enlarged and improved to meet the requirements of this ever-growing population, matching the standard of our Village Hall. The granting of Queen Elizabeth II Fields in Trust status in 2012 ensures its place for the community in perpetuity
Sadly by the end of February 2023 it became apparent that we could not afford to maintain the building until such time as a new Pavilion is built and the Management Committee decided to close the building on Safety grounds.
Why the Project is Needed.
Village surveys carried out in 2000 and 2007 identified the importance of the playing field to the village. The village community identified the need to expand and develop opportunities and facilities for leisure, sports, education, and exercise in addition to many other activities.
The management committee has identified the need to address the rapid deterioration of the fabric of the existing building and the need to improve access for the disabled.
Objectives for The Project.
- To respond to the practical need by demolishing the present Pavilion and building a new improved, larger, more user friendly, multi-functional premises with suitable access.
- To modernise and adapt the ways that the pavilion is perceived and used to meet today’s diverse customer expectations and aspirations, including training and development.
- To develop the range of activities available to the community and surrounding areas, with a focus on inclusivity and enabling all age groups to enjoy recreational and sporting activities.
- To use energy efficiency products in the new build which will include photovoltaic panels to maximise cost efficiency.
- To build to standard to meet; a) legislation, including health & safety and disabled access, b) Sport England’s guidelines on “Pavilions and Club Houses”, and c) government and local objectives.
- Overall improvement to the building and facilities.
- Opportunities will arise to further develop as a cohesive, inclusive, community-led facility.
- Increased health and well-being of users.
- Potential to develop further partnerships with the school and other local organisations and clubs.
- Create a flexible facility with the potential to increase revenue.
We are looking at costs in the region of £400,000 to demolish the existing pavilion and rebuild it. Funds will come from a mixture of Grant Funding applications, Donations and Fund Raising appeals and events.