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Youth Building

Redevelopment of the Youth building in West Chiltington


 Associated Documents


Feasibility Report    

Structural Engineers survey 

Site Plans  

Ground floor plans  

First floor plans

Covered play area 




It is understood that the Youth building currently situation on church land south of the cemetery in the heart of West Chiltington was originally a chicken shed that was brought to the village c1970 and used by the following groups:


Scouts / cubs / mothers and toddlers / youth clubs


This provided a venue for the younger population in the community to socialize in a safe, secure and structured environment and participating in many varied activities which included the Duke Of Edingburgh Award and Charlton Chase.  However, this timber frame building was condemned in December 2013 following a tree coming through the roof.  The building cannot be insured (and has not been insured for some 3 years), it is not up to Health and Safety regulations, lacks insulation and is in no fit state for the user groups to use.  Currently the cubs and scouts are in temporary accommodation at Pulborough.  The Youth club and Mothers and Toddler groups are closed.


 Along side this, there were conversations from parents within West Chiltington, Community School that before and after school care is needed.  The school is unable to accommodate this request and Little Bears (the Pre-School that leases space at West Chiltington School from WSCC) cannot run the provision in its current location due to the size of their facilities.


Ruth Simmonds called a meeting of all interested parties on 1.5.14 and 25 plus people attended from Parish, District, County Councillors, to user groups and clients / parishioners.  It was evident that there was enough interest to research the possibility of rebuilding the centre.


A grant of £2000 was received from WSCC for a Feasibility Study to be completed by MSA – please see attached report.  Smythe Trust covered the costs of the Structural Engineer – please see attached letter.  Therefore, to this point, the Parish Council have not needed to pay for anything.  By looking at the reports costings are detailed.


Within this mix, is also the need at some point, for West Chiltington Community School to regain the space that Little Bears accommodate.  People may be aware of the ongoing discussions around the change in Age of Transfer where Yr 6 is kept within the Primary Schools (a national reorganization).  WSCC are currently changing the Age Of Transfer in the Worthing schools – to go live in Sept 2015.  Given the new Primary National Curriculum, and that the STARS primary schools will be the only ones within WSCC without a Yr 6, it is felt that the school will at some point in the near future need the extra space.  Therefore it seems a good opportunity for Little Bears to be part of this exciting project too.


Several meetings have already been held, chaired by Ruth Simmonds:


 Click here for 15.5.14 Minutes

 Click here for 6.6.14 Minutes

 Click here for 30.6.14 Minutes

 Click here for 26.9.14  Minutes 

 Click here for 23.10.14 Minutes

Meeting for 5th Dec Cancelled


 The following community groups have been represented and worked hard to bring the Proposal to the Parish Council:




Neighbourhood Plan

Smythe Trust

Youth Club

Cubs / Scouts

Little Bears


Proposal - Build


Ruth Simmonds has spent a long time, along with the Parish Clerk Tony Thomas and the County Councillor Pat Arculus, in trying to source grants to fund the build.  Both by trawling the internet, attending meetings (LEADER) and working with National and Local Authority funding teams.  A lot of national grants are ring fenced to vulnerable groups and both national and local grants require information on the support from the local area / what the precept is and how will the Parish support this project.  Currently the precept in West Chiltington for 2014 / 15 is £28.98.  It is proposed that by increasing the precept by £11.62 for a £250 000 loan over a period of 15 years payback (less than £1 per month), the centre can be rebuilt.  This would bring the precept to £40.60.  In relation to surround Parish Precepts, this is still the second lowest on 2014 / 15 figures:


Thakeham                  £40.91

Storrington                 £51.74

Pulborough                 £71.53

Billingshurst                £69.73

Washington                £36.57

West Grinstead           £48.26


UKPN grant – applied for £10 000 re PV

iGAS grant – interest registered and accepted for £15 000 re insulation

Waitrose – proposal to fund the exterior e.g. decking / gardens.  RS working with Sue Warner (Partner Co-ordinator).


If the building is funded by the Precept, the Parish council will need to own the building and have the lease with the Church.  The PC is a well established and structured organization that is legally able to do this.  Looking at the West Chiltington Parish Council website it is felt that this project sits very well under the Powers and Duties of the Parish council especially with regard to providing community halls.


Proposal – Running costs


The running costs of the building are to be in the first instance supported by the following confirmed lettings:


Little Bears Pre School         5 days per week 7.30 – 5.30            £50 per day

                                         40 weeks per year                          £10 000


Youth Club                          2 evenings per week 3 hours           £7.50

                                         40 weeks per year x 2                     £600

Cubs / Scouts                      2 evenings per week 3 hours           £7.50

                                         40 weeks per year x 2                     £600


Total income based on 40 weeks per year                                  £11 200.00


In the remaining 12 weeks (school holidays) and weekends it is proposed to hire out the facilities to Little Bears / Another provider for Holiday clubs.  The hall can also be hired for children’s parties at £5 per hour.  This is in line with the Village Hall – where their annexe is £5.50 per hour and approx. the same space.  It is proposed that Charity organisations pay £2.50 per hour.


Therefore, if the hall is hired out for:


 1 children’s party per month for 2 hours @ £10                          £120


                                                 Total income                          £11 320


There is also approx. £1200 per year provided by the Smythe Trust that could be used to support / top up the educational activities in the hall.


Total Expenditure:


Cleaner 2 x per week / 8 hours?


Water (including Waste)


Community Tax



Any excess needs to be kept in reserve for any unforeseen expenditure – although there are also fund raising opportunities to be held in the hall that could cover such one off expenses.




If the build is covered by the Precept (plus additional grants from iGAS, UKPN and Waitrose) and the running of the centre is covered by lettings, we will be able to provide the following back in West Chiltington:


Before and After School Care

Pre-school with purpose built facilities

Mothers and Toddlers group

Cubs / Scouts

Youth groups


This will not only provide a much welcomed venue for our younger generation, but also reduce the commuting that parents / carers are currently required to do if they wish for their children to enjoy the above groups – which are in Storrington, Pulborough and Thakeham. 


Families would be drawn to buy in the village with the ‘wrap around care’ for their children.  It is believed that some families choose neighbouring villages / schools where such care is available.


It is the aim of the current steering group that for this to be a viable project, it needs to be part of the community, both in terms of the Parish council . Neighbourhood plan and those parishioners in West Chiltington.  An email has been sent to all parents at West Chiltington Community School and Little Bears Pre School – only positive feedback has been received in support of this proposal.


Ruth Simmonds is happy to lead on the project if it is agreed, with Simon Booth as the link Parish councilor.  Simon is also a School Governor.


Other options discussed


1. Put the site back to grass:                       


Surveyor estimated this would cost £20 000 – who would fund this?


2. Move the Youth club / users to the Village Hall:


The Child-care facility needs to be in walking distance of the school so that children can be escorted walking to and from the school.


The Village Hall is heavily booked in the evenings and there is also another Pre-School provider in the building during the day.






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