Our client was gifted a purpose built community centre with sports facilities and changing rooms as ‘planning gain’ from a substantial housing scheme. The centre has proved very popular over the last five years with day and evening activities fully booking the halls and meeting rooms.

With the possibility of more funding our client first asked us to design a ‘future proof’ extension to provide two additional multi-purpose community rooms. For various technical and aesthetic reasons an extension proved difficult but a concept was produced for a detached annexe. Unfortunately, despite the advantage of zero rate VAT, the scheme was too expensive.

Our client then reviewed their requirements and dropped the ‘future proofing’ aspect. Working together it was realised that the centres two full sized football changing rooms designed to FA standards were hardly ever used due to a lack of local interest. We looked at the available space and put forward alternative proposals. Our client opted for one large flexible space and the retention of one set of changing rooms. This scheme met the available budget and could be reversed if demand changes.

Planning and Building Regulation approvals were obtained, tenders invited and the funding approved. The final hurdle was to achieve an early completion date so that the facility was ready in time for an event planned later in the year. The original 15-week build programme was shortened to ten weeks by all parties collaborating and working together. Completion has been achieved on time and on budget.

And the first event was a yoga class; showing that this Basingstoke Community prefers yoga to football!