Public Consultation on a loan application to fund improvements to the Woolwell Centre Building
The Parish Council owns and is therefore responsible for the Woolwell Centre building which was constructed back in 2000. Unfortunately, due to a lack of planned and preventative maintenance the building has been neglected. A lot of the fundamental services which allow the centre to operate are now in a condition where it is no longer financially viable to repair or replace these items in a reactive way.
The systems which need addressing to not only ensure statutory compliance with industry standards but to also satisfy the operational expectations of the centre to ensure that the building provides users with the right internal environment whilst ensuring that we are being considerate of our carbon output. The systems in question are:
- Domestic Hot Water Services.
- General Ventilation.
- Heating Systems.
- Comfort Cooling Systems
All of these systems need the primary plant associated with them upgraded, along with a suitable control system which allows them to function efficiently. Without a suitable control system we are guilty of using excessive amounts of energy which isn’t required. For example, the current heating control system for the centre is 'all on', when in real terms there may only be a requirement for one room to be heated as other areas are not in use.
Now whist the PWLB will not cover every single element of the works required, the parish council believes that it can tackle the high priority initial issues and ensure that the centre is operating efficiently with a new package of plant equipment and fabric upgrades which will have a serviceable life of at least another 20+ years.
Once the project has been completed the council then plan to engage a maintenance contractor to ensure that all the equipment is maintained as per manufacture recommendations, whilst also ensuring that we plan for the future replacement of items by including a budget for them annually.
With out this major expenditure on the building it puts the parish council at increasing risk that the building will become non-operational as it will not function as it should and would be a haven of non-compliance which would ultimately put the centre operators and public users at risk.
For this type of building to operate there is several legislative requirements which must be met and maintained, the parish council believe that by the level of expenditure commitment it will put the building back on track as to where it needs to be.
Finally, as a commitment to reducing our carbon output the parish council wish to replace the aged and patch repaired flat roof to allow the installation of a PV array and upgrade the windows and doors, this will provide a better thermal performing building envelope. In turn collectively this will support making the centres existence as net Zero carbon building along with supporting it’s operator “The Woolwell Community Centre” to reduce their annual energy bills.
The Parish Council does not have the funds available to undertake all the necessary works and is therefore proposing to take out a loan from the Public Works Loan Board. A previous loan for the construction of the centre has recently been paid off and the precept will therefore not need to be increased to make repayments on a further loan for the purpose of the required upgrades.
More information is available below and public sessions will be arranged to answer questions if residents request them.
The Woolwell Centre
The Woolwell Centre has over the years been recognised as the leading community centre in the area. It opened in July 2000 and its mission is to provide a cultural and educational experience for members of the Woolwell community.
The following works would be carried out using the loan:
- New windows
- New flat roof
- New external doors
- Heating controls upgrade to allow zonal control.
- New solar PV (60KWP)
- Main Hall air handling unit upgrade, to provide a heating and cooling facility. New AHU is to costly.
- New fire alarm interface units for new plant.
- New door holders linked to the fire alarm system.
- New Sanitaryware Doc M Pack and Fitting
Public Works Loan Board (PWLB)
The PWLB lending facility is operated by the UK Debt Management Office (DMO) on behalf of HM Treasury. The facility provides loans to local authorities, and other specified bodies, from the National Loans Fund, operating within a policy framework set by HM Treasury. This borrowing is mainly for capital projects.
It is being proposed that the Parish Council borrow £250,000 over a 17-year period. Repayments would be approximately £23,000 per annum. The Council has recently finished paying off 2 loans totalling £16,000 per annum and other costs will be reduced to afford the repayments (for example a grant to the Woolwell Centre will be reduced). This is summarised below:
Borrowing: £250,000 (annuity - fixed half-yearly payments to include principal and interest).
Term: Over 16.5 years, not more than 17 years
Interest Rate: 5.51%
Annual repayments: £22,840.96
Total Repayment: £388,296.32