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Environmentally Friendly

Few community halls are built on environmental principles as solid as Rock’s!

The community at Rock, near Bewdley has every reason to be proud of their new village hall. It provides not only a focal point for community activity in rural Worcestershire; it’s also a flagship building that demonstratives best practice in sustainable construction.

The local community first launched bids to fund a new village hall to replace the existing dilapidated structure in 2000. It was decided that the new centre should incorporate as many environmental friendly features as possible.

The resulting new hall uses recycled materials to a very large degree, including the use of recycled hemp for insulation, and recycled plastics for the underground drainage. Rainwater is collected and used in the lavatories. The whole system is heated by a ground source system. Recycled aggregates were used in the foundations and all the timber comes from Forestry Stewardship Council sources. Such is its environmental significance that the hall was formally opened on 19th January 2007 by Ian Pearson MP, Minister of State.

Sustainability Features

  • Recycled aggregates in the access road and car park areas.
  • Recycled aggregates in building foundations and ground floor slab.
  • Rainwater harvesting from the roof for use in the lavatories
  • Ground Source Energy system for space heating and hot water supply.
  • Timber from Forestry Stewardship Council sources for boarding to external walls and shingles to roof covering, structural timber frame and other timber products.
  • Powder coated aluminium windows, external doors, and rainwater gutter and down pipe systems.
  • Recycled plastics in underground drainage pipe work.
  • Recycled cellulose paper in external wall insulation.
  • Hemp/recycled cotton batts to roofing insulation.
  • Recycled wood fibre insulation boards to roofing.
  • Water based internal paints.
  • Excavated material arising retained on site.

Project cost and Funding

The total project cost was some £650,000. The two largest contributors where the Big Lottery and the Severn Waste Environmental Fund who together made contributions in excess of 400,000.

The Committee is appreciative of both these and the many other contributions, large and small, from trusts, individuals and other sources.

A Full list of funders is available from the Chairman.

The History of Rock Village Hall

Shortly after the Second World War, villagers in Rock arranged to construct a village hall.  The Nott (farming) family was heavily involved and the Booton family from Lower Snead donated the land.  It was located up the Greenway and is now reconstructed as Chepstow Cottage.

Just prior to the Millennium the Government made grants available for communities to develop new open spaces to be known as Millennium Greens.  Rock was successful in creating what is now Rock Millennium Green on 5 acres in the village.  The land was purchased from the Booton family and the Millennium Green opened in 2001. The Booton family generously donated an additional acre for construction of a new village hall.

The original village hall on the Greenway had been giving problems for several years and repair or replacement was going to cost around £200-300,000 and the hall would still be outside the village and have no parking.It was therefore decided in the early noughties to try to build a new modern hall and a programme of fund raising followed, alongside working with the architect to create a fully environmental building.  This involved high levels of insulation, ground source heat pump energy, rainwater harvesting for toilets and use of recycled materials where possible. 100 solar panels followed a few years later. Capital costs rose significantly but future running costs would be minimised, a fairly new concept at the time.  The building would not use any fossil fuels for heating.

A National Lottery grant was obtained for £232 000, roughly half the construction cost.  The environmental agenda made it possible to obtain other grants from a number of environmental sources, including Severn Waste, Biffa and DEFRA.  The sale of the old hall was the village’s main contribution and the total costs came to around £750 000. Construction started in 2005 and the new hall was opened by the Secretary for the Environment in 2007.

The village hall remains a facility to benefit the local community with many local villagers being part of the committee over the years. Several members of the original hall committee remain on the committee today but are now gradually handing over to the next generation. In any event the future for our wonderful and popular village hall seems assured.

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