Proposals for a Bagshot Community Hub

At a meeting in August 2021 Surrey Heath Borough Council briefed a selected audience from the Bagshot Society that they were  offering Bagshot residents two options for a new community facility.  One would involve significant expenditure and require Bagshot residents to set up a new legal body, the other re-purposed existing space.  
The options were ...

Option A refurbishes the empty former council chamber behind the library to provide a facility that would be managed by an official group of villagers.  It would be accessed from the lane that runs from the back of the Day Center car park.  

If this option is to be adopted then the village needs to set up a new legal entity to prepare a business plan to show the viability of the facility before the council carry out the refurbishment, and then take full responsibility for the running of the facility under a lease from the council including internal maintenance, insurance, safety inspections, utilities, cleaning and booking.  The income needed for the running cost would be raised by hiring out the facilities.   

Option B makes the relatively recently build extension at the rear of the Day Centre available for community and private hire.   The area has its own entrance and some alterations could be made.

An informal users group would be established to liaise with the council but responsibility for maintenance, insurance, safety inspections, cleaning & booking would be the council's.

The old council chamber would be sold off and demolished and one or two affordable dwellings built in its place.  Some of the proceeds from the sale of the land would be ring-fenced for enhancements in Bagshot.

Neither option has any impact on Laird House, 63 High Street, the original grade II listed Victorian house that accommodates the library and the barbers.  The old council chamber is behind this and separated from it by a small courtyard.

Decision time

The council wished to make a decision very soon.  It was obvious that unless a motivated and capable group of people came forward with a view to being the embryo of the new management entity then their decision will be option B.

The Bagshot Society used the Internet, social media, posters in the village and direct emails to bring this to the attention of residents and offered to facilitate a meeting of people who were interested in progressig option A.  

Only two people expressed any interest in progressing option A which makes it unviable.

The Society's chairman has now written to the council advising them that their 'option A' proposal does not have the support from the wider Bagshot community that would be needed to implement it.

The  new build behind the Day Centre that is offered as Option B.
The pitched roof building in the centre of this photo is what is offered as Option A, though it may also include the single storey building attached on its left.
The building would be accessed along the lane that runs through the Day Centre car park.
This is Laird House, 63 High Street, which houses the library and the barbers. The building offered as Option A is behind this. Laird house is unaffected by either proposal.