Action Groups - Village Hall Action Group


Barrow upon Soar is an expanding village with a very active community of 8000 people and no village hall. Work has already commenced on an additional 400+ new houses, an increase of 20% in houses. Sadly, the existing facilities used by the community are ageing and becoming fewer. We have already lost the use of two facilities owned by the Education Authority, previously available for hire and have very much restricted access to a third.

The Barrow Parish Plan, completed in 2006, illustrated overwhelmingly, the need for additional community facilities to meet the needs of the existing population. Clearly with a potential increase of more than 1000 residents and fewer spaces, the situation will become untenable and more people will need to go outside the village for social activities. This will have a very detrimental effect on village cohesion and Community Spirit. It will also result in the greater use of vehicles to take people beyond the village. The following information was gathered as a result of a survey of all village groups and organisations. The Youth Group now has no premises and has had to close. Teenagers are congregating in the centre of the village and are perceived to be a nuisance. 'Barrow Youth Action Group'( volunteers) has been formed, who work closely with two part-time youth workers. We hope to address their requirements in a 'Youth Wing' and facilitate the formation of a 'youth council' to assist in managing their own activities. These may be the community leaders of the future. We hope to house the playgroup in a purpose-built youth wing which will address the needs of the youngsters including a secure outdoor play area. We aim to facilitate the expansion of playgroup capacity in the village. Two ballroom dance groups currently have to run lessons and social dances outside the village as weekly bookings for classes in suitable spaces are not available. We will provide extra capacity so that these activities can be run in the village. The MCHugh School of Dancing, which runs dance lessons and shows for young people is at present holding classes in the skittle alley of a local pub. Space is restricted and so places for would be dancers is limited. The Scout Hut is an ageing concrete building which is so heavily used that the 2 packs of Brownies are not able to hold meetings there. Additional meeting room space has been requested by WEA, Holy Trinity Wives Group, and The Barrow Business Forum. The Twinning Association wants a smart venue for official Twinning Events, when hosting French visitors. The Baptist Church requires a very large room for secular gatherings. Barrow has a thriving Youth Theatre which involves about 40 young people. It needs to have more security of tenure and flexibility of access for rehearsals and performances. The school hall where it meets at present is often used by school in the evening for parents evenings, mentoring sessions and other events and of course school has priority. The premises are also expensive to hire. Hirers must leave the building before 9.30pm on weekday evenings. In a survey of all households, villagers expressed the need for a well maintained, clean, nicely decorated venue for celebrations, wedding receptions, exhibitions, theatrical performances, dances and discos. They would also like to attend daytime classes and arts and crafts and fitness activities. Some requested a coffee shop venue.

In order to gain experience of the process of building community facilities the Village Hall Action Group has visited many community buildings in the county. We were hoping to find other projects which have embraced environmental issues and new technologies. There do not appear to be other examples and thus we are resolved to work with centres of excellence in this field to provide a flagship building which can demonstrate to villagers and other projects, new technologies and building techniques to this end. Lastly, there needs to be additional capacity to fulfil the needs of more than 1000 new residents of the village. It is envisaged that there might be new interests amongst them and possibly new groups formed.

IF you would like to get involved in any way please get in touch.


Stephen Holloway 
Tel: 01509 412690 

Sue Rodgers 
Tel: 01509 416533

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Last Updated. 10-October-2021 By Admin

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