BODORGAN COMMUNITY CENTRE SUPPORT GROUP - OCTOBER NEWSLETTER
By the end of this month the clocks will have gone back, and we’ll see Autumn gradually give way to winter – not a particularly uplifting time of year, especially after the recent weeks of heavy rain and high winds. However, there is definitely cause for celebration of a major step forward for the Community. If you have not yet seen the bulletins posted on the www.Malltraeth.com website, Anglesey Council have invited Malltraeth Ymlaen to submit a viable business plan with a view to purchasing the whole School site, including the playing field. They have confirmed that Malltraeth Ymlaen is the only organisation bidding for the site, and that means that demolition is no longer on the cards. Cllrs Bryan Owen and Peter Rogers have pledged their support for the project, so watch this space!
In view of the significance of this development, the October newsletter will focus on this single topic.
During 2018-9, as negotiations continued with YMCC for the acquisition of the Centre, the general consensus amongst the former Directors of Malltraeth Ymlaen and the Managing Trustees was that refurbishment of the existing building was the best option. Concern had been expressed regarding the current low level of utilisation of the Centre, and there was some discussion regarding the possibility of demolishing part of the flat roofed extension at the rear of the building. Extensive plans were drawn up, (by Capell Aris and Cyril Jones) for various refurbishment options, and the Community Centre Support Group was set up specifically to improve utilisation and look for additional sources of income. Then in October 2019 the Managing Trustees stated that their aim was to demolish the School, use some of the playing field for building on, and provide a much smaller prefabricated Community Centre on what remained of the playing field. There had been no consultation with the residents of Bodorgan or even Malltraeth Ymlaen, no details made available, the decision was announced at a meeting of Malltraeth Ymlaen as a “done deal”. Subsequently 10 of the Directors voted to close Malltreath Ymlaen, and transfer the contents of the Company’s bank account, some £22,000, to the Managing Trustees. Fortunately the other 2 Directors of Malltraeth Ymlaen challenged that decision, and Companies House rejected the closure of the Company. Since then Malltraeth Ymlaen has appointed new Directors, and offered membership of the Company to the residents of Bodorgan, (including the former Directors and the current Managing Trustees if they so wish).To date Malltraeth Ymlaen has 96 registered members, and the list is still increasing. We also have over 170 followers on Facebook!
THE COMMUNITY CENTRE
Following their acceptance of MY’s expression of interest, the doors of the Centre have finally been opened by Anglesey Council for inspection.
Considering that the building has been closed for almost 2 years it is in remarkably good condition. The main hall - ideal for exhibitions, keep fit sessions, bingo, coffee mornings and fund raising events.
The main meeting room for the Community Centre, where many residents attended Malltraeth Ymlaen meetings over the years. Still in good condition, with a good supply of tables & chairs still available.
|This the room closest to the A4080, and was in the worst condition, having not been used since the school closed. During the inspection, the opinion of both an architect and a building contractor was that the building – including this room - was sound, and an ideal candidate for a community centre. The architect has all the dimensions of the building and has started work.|
WHY CAN’T WE USE THE CENTRE NOW?
The reason given by the Trustees for keeping the Centre closed “for the foreseeable future” was their partial Fire Safety Inspection which raised concerns over the alleged lack of a Fire Exit. A subsequent visit by the Fire Safety Officer has confirmed that there is a usable Fire Exit, and this is the same exit that had allowed use of the Centre (including the hall) during the school holidays and more recently, after the school was closed, for Malltraeth Ymlaen meetings and various functions and events. In addition, there are regular documented inspections of the Fire Alarm system and fire extinguishers. The Support Group has approached Anglesey Council for permission to reopen the building, and if that is given, all we need is for the Trustees to say “YES”. Then we’re back in business.
In February 2020 a series of three coffee mornings were held at the Centre, with examples of prefabricated buildings on display, along with suggested plans for refurbishment, to show residents what the alternatives were. A total of 135 residents attended, including some members of the Trustees. An opinion poll was subsequently carried out, and 97% of the people who responded were in favour of refurbishment.
The vast majority of you want to keep the school as a Community Centre. No one has voted for a Pre-Fab building. But those that voted for demolition said that they never visited the school as a Community Centre. Since that result, the new Directors of Malltraeth Ymlaen have focussed exclusively on acquiring and refurbishing the building. Demolition is no longer an option!!
If you haven’t taken the survey then please do so now!!
An outline plan is shown below, with suggested functions for the space available. Heating costs for a building of this size had been flagged up in the past by the Trustees as a major concern, but technology has moved on, and the proposed use of ground source eco heating means that the heating costs can be reduced dramatically.
This plan is NOT final. We have approached the architects Russell Hughes for help with the final design of the school. Their website is worth a look:
Note the Bodorgan Estate Offices, founded on an old barn!
The result will be a thriving Community Centre, with the playing field available for outdoor events, and ample car parking space at the rear of the building.
HAVE YOUR SAY
The Directors of Malltraeth Ymlaen are waiting to hear from you, the residents of Bodorgan. Now is the time to say what you would like to see in the new Centre. We will have a superb facility, with far more scope than most of the other Community Centres on the Island. Here are just some of the proposed activities currently under discussion.
The next AGM of Malltraeth Ymlaen, will be held on November 24th, at 7.0pm, venue to be announced. Any of MY’s 96 registered member can apply to be a Director. There is currently room for an additional 2 directors but we can change the Company’s articles if more of you want to contribute to the Business Plan. We would particularly like someone with legal skills. But If you think you have skills or experience to offer, or if you just want to help, please submit your name prior to the AGM. Details of the meeting, together with information on how to become a Director will be sent out within the next week.
CHRISTMAS IS COMING!
In the past, Malltraeth Ymlaen organised a Pensioners’ Christmas Lunch every year, funded by the proceeds from the 150 Club. Now that the Covid restrictions have eased, it seems to be a good time to plan a Christmas gathering. The 150 Club has raised £780 over the last 2 years, and the over 50s Club has agreed to make a contribution to the event. The details will be finalised over the next few weeks, but the preferred venue is – of course – the Community Centre. If the Support Group gets the go ahead from Anglesey Council, all we then need is permission from the Trustees. Fingers crossed!! If that does not come to pass, we will go somewhere else!
150 CLUB OCTOBER DRAW – Winning Numbers
225 Twm Griffiths (£25)
236 Liz Hughes (£20)
213 Margaret Edwards (£15)
269 Rev. Elizabeth Roberts (£10)
Next year’s list will open on December 1st.