The Tithe Barn Management Committee is currently working to:
a) renovate and preserve the Tithe Barn and make it fit for purpose for the 21st Century, by:
i. making it a more attractive space, and more competitive with neighbouring halls so that it can continue to be the hub of our village community by meeting the needs of existing and new user groups, and to encourage new uses of the Tithe Barn for the benefit of the whole community
ii. being compliant with all modern Regulations and Standards, including disabled access, Fire Regulations and Hygiene
iii. reducing operating costs by utilizing modern, efficient heating and electrical installations
b) become financially sustainable by generating sufficient income from hire of the hall to cover all outgoings, and to generate a healthy surplus so that we can maintain the Tithe Barn for future generations.
To make sure we understood clearly what our community needs now, and in the future, the TBMC with assistance from The Community Council for Somerset received a grant from Awards for All in July 2017 of £3571 (Project ID 10305938) to carry out a village consultation to identify community need and potential.
We received a further Awards for All grant in May 2018 of £6725 (Project ID 0010330087) to enable us to employ an Architect and other qualified experts to scope and cost the works required to refurbish the Tithe Barn in accordance with RIBA Stage 3.
We developed a Brief and Designs in close liaison with the Architect, the Fitzhead Parish Council and the St James’ Parochial Church Council, and we held a Village Consultation on Sunday 4 November where villagers could come and see the plans and discuss them with the Architects. As a result of this, we made some small amendments to the Design, and then submitted the final Brief and Designs for Planning Approval to Somerset West and Taunton Council.
We received Conditional Planning Approval (application 17/18/0007 dated 14 March 2019).
We received a further Awards for All Grant of £10,000 in August 2019 to continue with RIBA Stage 4 of development. We also received £2556 from the Co-op Local Community Fund. Our Architect has advised that we should obtain advice from professional consultants to assist with developing our specifications of works. This will enable the preparation of technical drawings, specifications and documentation for construction and provide us with sufficient information to be able to submit larger grant applications to carry out the specified works.
The Covid 19 pandemic has currently slowed progress on the Tithe Barn, but we hope to resume work shortly.