The Holmes Chapel Community Centre is owned by the Parish Council on behalf of residents and is managed on our behalf by Everybody Health & Leisure (EH&L). The Community Centre has already proved to be a real asset to the village. Its gym and fitness suite now has over 1,300 members, benefiting the health of many village residents. The function rooms, café and bar are also well used by many organisations and residents.
A Joint Management & Liaison Committee (JM&LC) has been established consisting of representatives of the Parish Council and EH&L and meets quarterly and oversees the operational management and all the development work both now and in the future. This includes a review of the finances generated by the operational use. It is expected that in time, when the centre begins to provide a surplus from activities, some of this will go towards further development and enhancement and some the Parish Council can use for other needs around the village.
The future vision and strategic focus for Holmes Chapel adopted by the Parish Council is:
Holmes Chapel will be a vibrant and prosperous hub of the local rural community, offering an attractive place to live, work and play for people of all ages.
With this Vision in mind and after over two years of work since the closure of the premises in December 2013, the Parish Council completed the purchase of the former sports and social club on Station Road, Holmes Chapel from Sanofi Aventis in June of 2015. The land and buildings are held as a community asset. The Parish Council agreed to call the facilities the Holmes Chapel Community Centre (HCCC).
The purchase was funded by a Public Works Loan from central government over 25 years with a fixed interest rate and is paid for in a similar way to a mortgage. It was not the intention that the Parish Council would manage the site and after discussions with Everybody Health & Leisure (EH&L) who manage all the leisure centre services across Cheshire East, a lease was agreed in July 2015 for them to provide the daily operational management of all the facilities.
EH&L are a registered charity, set up initially by Cheshire East Council, to run the Leisure Centres in Cheshire East. They will use the Community Centre as their flagship site and their head office is based in the Brooklands building adjacent to the main building.
Refurbishment started in August 2015 with the intention of getting the fitness areas in place to offer an attractive environment, conducive to encouraging old and new members to join and use the facility. The work was overseen by EH&L who funded much of the requirements. The HCCC Fitness Suite opened for business at the end of November 2015.
Work started on the renovation of the former main hall, the bar/lounge area, the small meeting room, the former kitchen and other side rooms in June 2016. These areas needed extensive work on all aspects, so the decision was taken to strip out everything and start again within the building framework.
During the refurbishment activity, it was discovered that there were further areas of asbestos that needed clearing – something which we were hoping not to find. This important clearance work took place in July 2016 and the whole of the area was certified as safe by an approved inspector to the H&SE.
The main work to ‘re-build’ these areas commenced again in August 2016. The final fitting out was completed, and the area open for use in October 2016. The centre was officially opened on the 12th November 2016, by two Olympic gold medallists, Megan Giglia and Sophie Thornhill.
The refurbishment of the external changing rooms used primarily by Holmes Chapel Rugby Club (HCRC), but also available for other organisations was undertaken in 2016. This included new boilers for the showers, heaters for the changing rooms, a good clean through and redecoration of both the outside and inside. This was finished off with new flooring in August 2016 ready for the new season. We are pleased that HCRC have remained at the facility and they have already attracted new members.
The Meeting Facilities:
The Fitness Suite
The gym is based on the ground and first floors and contains many pieces of equipment for a wide range of exercises. EH&L offers personal training as well as introductory sessions for new members and is always available for advice on use of the equipment.
There is also a ‘fitness studio’ where instructor led classes are held across many different types of exercise regimes.
More information can be obtained on the EH&L website about all the classes and activities available. https://everybody.org.uk/locations/holmes-chapel-community/
The Brooklands Suite
The large community room can provide a range of services to users. These include large meetings of up to 150 people and many types of larger social events. The room is fitted with audio/visual services and internet access through the HCCC Wi-Fi. There is also a redesigned bar area in the corner.
Several community groups regularly use these facilities including:
Holmes Chapel Cinema – usually monthly from September to April/May
Youth Cinema – started in November 2019 and usually monthly
Pensioners Lunch – monthly and supported by financially by EH&L and Cheshire Voluntary Services
Tea Dances – started in February 2020
U3A – for annual meeting
The Academy Suite
This is the former small meeting room with access through the café area. The biggest challenge for this room was to bring in some daylight, so some ‘sun tubes’ have been installed and the room is fully air-conditioned with access to the conservatory as a ‘break-out’ area. The room also has audio/visual services and internet access through the HCCC Wi-Fi.
All Parish Council meetings are held in this room; dates for all meetings are published elsewhere on this website as well as minutes from past meetings.
The ‘Taste for Life’ Café/Bar.
The former bar/lounge area has been completely refurbished, offering a relaxing place to go for a coffee/tea or cold drink after using the fitness suite or just to meet friends and family. It offers light lunches during the week as well as other snacks and refreshments.
The café/bar also provides a meeting place for HCRC after their matches.
The Skatepark facility
This was installed in the south east corner of the grounds in Spring 2017 and has proved to be a valuable asset for the youth of Holmes Chapel, with the skatepark being well used all year round.
The Playing Pitch
This is primarily laid out for the use of HC Rugby Club but the playing surface can be used at other times as a general ‘kick-about’ space. There is room for training not on the playing pitch. Like all grassed playing surfaces, during the winter season there are times when the weather causes issues with using the pitch. The council continues to look at ways this issue can be reduced and possible future long-term plans for the playing surface remain on the agenda for consideration.
Work was completed in November 2018 to re-arrange the access to the community centre, the first step towards a more holistic upgrade to the car parking at the centre. The fence was moved across the front of the site, defining the entrance more clearly. Removing the internal fence has also opened up a better view of the Community Centre. In the longer term the car parking at the centre will be optimised to provide further benefit for the community and user of the centre.
Prior to the purchase of the Centre in 2015, the council commissioned reports on the state of the roofs and these indicated that replacement or major refurbishment would be required within five years. Following a series of water leaks from rain, with no possible minor improvements possible, it was decided in 2019 to replace/refurbish five of the flat roofs of the centre.
The council conducted a general consultation or residents/users as the only way of funding this work was to request an additional Public Works Loan. The go-ahead was agreed by council and a formal tender process resulted in the awarding of a contract to a supplier. The work commenced in October 2019 and completed by the end of November with a 20+ year guarantee provided.
The JMLC with the Parish Council are reviewing a number of options for new and improved facilities in the future. These include relocating the car park to where the former Bowling Green is currently situated and realigning the front drive. The back-car park (which many years ago was the tennis courts) would be converted to a playing area adjoining the main field, possibly as a Multi Use Games Area (MUGA). Funds will be required to achieve this, and the JM&LC will be looking at where these can be obtained.
All enquiries for using any of the Community Rooms should be made to the main reception area of the HCCC where bookings can be made on 01477 689557 or to firstname.lastname@example.org