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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 30/07/2007
Museum of Farnham Garden Classroom



Summary & Purpose

APPENDIX A
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 10TH JULY 2007

Title:
MUSEUM OF FARNHAM GARDEN CLASSROOM

[Wards Affected: Farnham]

Summary and purpose:

In December 2006 the Council gave authority to officers to work up proposals for the redevelopment of the Museum Classroom and to submit the necessary applications to external funding organisations, including a Stage 2 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for the project. In March 2007, the Council received and considered an application to the Community Partnership Fund for an additional 25,000 grant towards the project to cover the possible shortfall in the necessary external funding for the project. This report updates members on the progress made to date in securing the required external funding and seeks approval in principle for the release of the ring-fenced Community Partnership grant in the event that the remaining funding applications do not meet the required amount.

Environmental implications:

The current garden gallery is decaying and leaking, aesthetically it is unattractive and out of keeping with the rest of the surrounding conservation area. The building is also poor in relation to energy efficiency. A new facility could make use of natural resources in its design; it would improve the local environment by providing a more aesthetic building, more in keeping with its environment. In addition the environmental benefits include:

v use of natural materials
v enhancing the site by replacing an ugly prefab with a building more appropriate to the setting
v fully insulated and fuel efficient facility
v maximising the potential of the site by developing the educational opportunities of the rear garden
v making environmental improvements to the existing garden.

Social / community implications:

The current garden classroom is in a poor state of repair and cannot meet the needs of all groups who would wish to use it. An improved facility would help to attract new audiences and priority would be given to tackling social inclusion through the programming of the new facility and the educational work. A new facility would also provide an opportunity to support local groups and organisations and could provide a venue for local businesses to hire, which would increase the Museum’s capacity to generate revenue. As a runner up in The Guardian’s National Family Friendly Museums Award this facility will increase the facilities available to families in particular. In addition the social benefits include:

v providing affordable space for community groups to meet or hire for exhibitions and events
v filling a gap in Adult Education provision in the community
v working with day centres and retirement homes to provide an outreach programme
v provide training for volunteers such as NADFAS, Friends of the Museum etc.
v encourage FDMS to return to museum premises for meetings, events and lecture programme
v working with disadvantaged youth groups
v working with adults with learning difficulties by establishing heritage projects lasting several months at a time
v providing more space to cater for a wider range of family activities
v providing greater accessibility to the museum collection, especially for the disabled.

E-Government implications:

There are no e-government implications arising from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

The total estimated cost of the replacement project is 509,000. To date the Council has committed 95,000 in the capital programme towards the cost of refurbishing the existing building. Members are reminded that this is the amount required to refurbish the existing building in the event that the Heritage Lottery Fund and other funding applications are unsuccessful and the new build project fails to secure the necessary funding.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded the project a Stage 1 award which included a grant of 11,600 to cover the costs of the developing detailed proposals for the Stage 2 application. If successful at Stage 2 the HLF will meet 59% (300,000) of the total cost of the project. This leaves a remaining shortfall of 114,000 to be met by other external sources of funding.

Officers have made applications to various external sources details of which are set out in Annexe 1. To date, 47,500 has been secured towards the project with applications totalling 115,000 yet to be determined. Officers are aware that in determining whether to award a Stage 2 grant the HLF would require assurance that any outstanding partnership funding has been secured. In addition to the current outstanding applications, officers are also in discussion with both Farnham Town Council and the Farnham Building Preservation Trust with regards to potential funding applications.

The current shortfall in funding is 66,500. If the Council agree to releasing the 25,000 grant from the CPF a shortfall of 41,500 will still exist but it is hoped that the outstanding applications as well as the potential funding applications to the Farnham Town Council and the Farnham Building Preservation Trust may be successful to cover this remaining shortfall.

The Proposal

1. The proposed garden classroom will be a single storey building located in the rear garden of the Museum at a distance of 20m from the main house. It will replace the current flat-roofed, prefabricated building, which was built in the 1960’s. The garden classroom will be a multi-use facility, which would not only improve on the current facilities but will assist in attracting new audiences and developing/extending the current education programme. A wide range of additional activities will be developed which will open the Museum up to a large number of new users. The proposed multi use facility would provide a separate education room and exhibition/display room, which could be combined for larger activities/events or used by two different groups at the same time. The facility would also include toilet/wash facilities and a small kitchen area. The garden area at the back of the facility could also be brought back into use and provide an area of garden which could be used for educational purposes.

Progress to date

2. The scheme requires planning permission and listed building consent as it is located within the curtilage of an existing Grade I listed building. Planning permission has now been secured and officers are awaiting the outcome of the listed building application which has been referred to the Government Office for consideration.

3. The Museum curator has delivered detailed presentations to the Farnham Building Presentation Trust, The Farnham Society and the Museum Society and Friends of Farnham Museum, as well as to a general meeting of identified stakeholders. The response to these presentations has demonstrated the significant amount of support within the community for the project and has helped to secure the elements of external funding as set out above. Officers are seeking an opportunity to present the proposal to Farnham Town Council with the hope that the Town Council may be in a position to contribute to the funding required to secure the project.

Conclusion

4. In order to deliver the project and to satisfy the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) that all the necessary funding is in place prior to the Stage 2 application being considered in September, officers are seeking Council approval to earmark a grant of 25,000 from the Community Partnership fund towards the project.

Recommendation

The Executive is requested to recommend to the Council that a grant of 25,000 from the 2007/8 Community Partnership Fund be earmarked as a contribution.

Background Papers (DoEL)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Julie Maskery Telephone: 01483 523432





Comms/o&s3/2007-08/002.call in appx a