Due to Sevenoaks being in Tier 3 restrictions, all public tours arranged as part of the Bat & Ball Centre Opening on 4th & 5th December 2020 have needed to be postponed. A new date to be confirmed when possible.

We are pleased to provide a digital 3D Scan of the facility created by the contractors, the BJF Group.

Digital 3D Scan of Bat & Ball Centre Sevenoaks

The scan works similarly to google maps. For example, if you press your curser on a door you will be able to move through.

We hope everyone finds this virtual tour interesting and look forward to showing you around and holding events in the building in the not too distant future.

Linda Larter
Chief Executive / Town Clerk
27th November 2020

Background

The Sevenoaks Community Centre although used extensively as a community hub was more than 30 years old and the fabric of the building required costly maintenance and was uneconomic to operate. Public feedback also indicated that it was no longer a venue where they would want to hold a special family occasion e.g. wedding. Also, a larger venue had been requested by businesses and public for events with a sit-down capacity for 250. Currently people requiring such a venue need to go out of town.

Sevenoaks Town Council had made a commitment to the regeneration of Bat & Ball area and believed that a new community centre was a key component to this.

Initially the Town Council considered selling its office site and combining capital income to build a two-storey community centre which would have its offices on the first floor. Unfortunately, there were planning problems relating to this idea on both sites. At the same time the Red Cross relinquished its building, and this provided an opportunity for its development.

Bearing all of this in mind the Town Council reconsidered its original plan and decided to retain its office site and refurbish the old Red Cross building and to keep the current community centre site for its original purposes. This proposal provided several advantages:

• Less pressure on car parking at the Bat & Ball Centre
• Less pressure on car parking at STC Office site, also enabling nearby residents to use some car parking spaces during non-office hours.
• Retained community assets
• Enabled Sevenoaks Day Nursery to continue with its original plans (on community centre site)
• Enables a new Business Hub to be created on the STC office site. • Enable space for new Multi Use Games Area court.

Plan for new centre

The driving vision for the new Bat & Ball Centre was to replace the tired and no longer fit for purpose thirty year old community centre with a facility that will be characterised by being a high quality contemporary building, within accessible and vibrant public realm enabling a lively and eclectic mix of daytime and evening activities. It is intended to complement and be interactive with the refurbished adjoining Bat & Ball Station building.

The new Bat & Ball Centre will be far more economical and environmentally friendly to operate and have improved aesthetics and extended community space.

The external areas of the building will be landscaped to enable the exterior to also be a valuable community space.

What will the new centre provide?

The plans have been considered to ensure that traditional usage can continue and provide more flexible accommodation to enable additional usages.

• Large main hall -Extended in size to current with sliding doors to enable link to smaller hall
• Smaller hall for multi-use including play schools (meeting Ofsted requirements)
• Catering kitchen
• Meeting room
• Modern Audio-Visual equipment
• Landscaped outdoor space
• Multi Use Games Area for tennis, netball, 5 aside football, on site.

How much did it cost and how was it be funded?

Project Budget £2,775,208 & contingency £303,597 = £3,078,805

• Funded by £1,200,000 CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) Grant, £57,815 CIL Reserve, £420,990 Capital Reserves & £1,400,000 Public Works Loan Board (25 years fixed rate, annual repayment £74,202)

• Funding of some fixtures and fixings by Kent County Council.

Project & Project Team

The new Bat & Ball Centre is one of Sevenoaks Town Council’s Community Investment Projects and part of its Northern Sevenoaks Masterplan. It has been a difficult project due to the implications of COVID-19 and national lockdowns. Although construction projects were permitted to continue there were problems with supply chains, closure of manufacturers, shortage of staff due to shielding etc and restrictions within public health guidelines.

It is a credit to all involved that the new Centre is opening on the original scheduled date of 4th December 2020 – we just hope in the near future people will be able to use it for the purposes it is designed for.

Architect: Theis & Khan
Structural Engineers: Ctp
RIBA Client Advisor: Sarah Williams Architects
Quantity Surveyor: Moulton Taggart
Employers Agent: Glenn Ball, Architect
Contractor: BJF Group