The Harrold Centre Redevelopment Project
After much effort the redeveloped Harrold Centre reopened on 1st September 2017 with much improved facilities. The renewed Centre includes new toilets with a separate disabled toilet, new kitchen and bar area, a spacious entrance lobby, an extended main hall and better use of existing space. The building is now and attractive, light, clean and airy and suitable and welcoming for a wide range of community activities.
We believe that “The Centre” should be just that – the centre of the village – always open, always busy at work, rest or play with something for everyone.
In the last few years the population of Harrold has almost doubled and its needs are constantly evolving. The redevelopment project has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redevelop the Centre to meet those needs. The needs of all: the young, the old, the disadvantaged, home workers, mums, those who can’t get out much, those who want to get fit, those who want to keep fit. A centre for arts, sports and the community it serves. Potential uses are only limited by imagination and the energy to make it happen.
The Centre was tired; and more importantly, no longer fit-for-purpose. It was originally built around the turn of the 20th century and last had a major update in the early 1960s; 50 years ago! It was time for change, and we believe the project has delivered to expectations and to meet the needs of the community.
Whilst the main building works to get the building operational have been completed, we now need to address the remaining works in Phase 2 of the project. These significant and essential additional works include:
- Installation of a permanent local heritage exhibition – the Centre holds a significant place in the history of the village. We will provide interpretation throughout the building that focuses on the history of the building and the village, and its important connections with the local leather trade. Northampton Museum of Leathercraft have agreed to support us by the loan on a regular basis of various temporary exhibits.
- Provision of an internet café for 2 days per week – this requires computer work stations and an increased broadband facility. We also require further equipment for the café such as new tables and chairs.
- Separate storage building situated adjacent to the existing main hall – sufficient storage space is at a premium and this will allow the existing and new user groups to store their equipment without impacting on the day to day running of the Centre.
- New main entrance doors to the front of the building – the old doors were not replaced in Phase 1. New doors will provide added security, insulation and sound-proofing to the Centre.
- Additional and emergency lighting to access corridor to medical room – the existing lighting was not replaced in Phase 1 and needs updating.
- Provision of exterior cycle racks – this was a planning condition and has not yet been implemented.
- Sliding/folding partition to main atrium – this will allow segregation of the main atrium from the space at the rear of the building and permit more multi-use activity in the Centre.
- Completion of the fit-out to the new medical room – a new floor and skirting are needed, together with the necessary equipment to complete the fit-out.
- Provision of a new hearing loop audio sound system for the impaired of hearing – this will ensure the disadvantaged have equal opportunities to use and enjoy the building.
- New terrace and safety balustrade to first floor caretaker’s flat – previously the resident caretaker had a ground floor outside courtyard at the rear of the building. The area of this courtyard was used for the rear extension as part of Phase 1 of the project. A replacement outside area is required on the flat roof of the new extension.
- Improvements to car park – the existing gravel car park is in poor condition, and major repairs and improvements are required.
- Acoustics – the acoustics in the Connolly Hall are poor and can be radically improved using suitable acoustic wall or ceiling panels.
- Display areas – provision of facilities for wall displays, for instance by local artists, or organisations such as the Harrold Twinning Group.