Community Centre

Introduction:

The Community Centre - owned by the Parish and managed on our behalf by Everybody Sport & Recreation - has already proved to be a real asset to the village. The Community Centre gym and fitness suite now has over 1000 members, benefiting many village residents.

The second phase of refurbishment at the centre was completed in 2016, opening the updated bar and community room areas, along with the cafe facility.  The Skatepark facility was installed within the grounds in Spring 2017, which has proved a valuable asset for the youth in the area, with the skatepark being well used all year round.

Plans for the site are on-going.  Work is currently underway 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 is being moved across the front of the site, defining the entrance more clearly. In the longer term the car parking at the centre will be optimised to provide further benefit for the community and users of the centre

Need to add gallery

Further Information:

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 will be held as a community asset. The Parish Council has 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 Sport and Recreation Trust (E&SR) 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.

ES&R 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.   

A Joint Management & Liaison Committee (JM&LC) has been established consisting of representatives of the Parish Council and ES&R 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.

 

Bringing new purpose and vitality to 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.

 

The Fitness Suite

With this vision in mind, the 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 ES&R who funded much of the requirements.  The HCCC Fitness Suite opened for business at the end of November 2015 and the ‘gallery’ shows pictures of what is now available – with a couple of photos showing what it used to look like!

As at the end of July 2016, over 1,000 people, mostly residents from the village have joined as members and use the gym and attend the many and varied fitness classes.

There has also been some refurbishment of the external changing rooms, used primarily by Holmes Chapel Rugby Club (HCRC).  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 will be finished off with new flooring in August 2016 ready for the new season.  We are pleased that HCRC have returned to the facility and they have already attracted many new members because they have a ‘home’ at last.

The external changing rooms will also be available for others who want to use the external fields.  Bookings can be made through the reception desk of the HCCC on 01477 689557.

The Community Rooms

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. 

In the course of the 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. 

So the main work to ‘re-build’ these areas commenced again in August 2016 and concluded in September 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 gold medallists, Megan Giglia and Sophie Thornhill.  For pictures see the gallery.

The Brooklands Suite

The large community room is able to 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.  There is also a redesigned bar area in the corner.

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 WiFi.

It is the intention that all Parish Council meetings will in future from October 2016 be held in this room; dates for all future meetings are published elsewhere on this website.

ES&R will be making use of this room for much of their training of leisure staff for all the centres across Cheshire East.

The ‘Taste for Life’ Suite.

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 is expected that this will also offer a meeting place for HCRC after their matches.  The bar area has been completely renewed and bar services are available on request.

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.

 

The Future for HCCC

The JMLC are reviewing a number of options for new 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.

Over the next year or so, we will be working with ES&R to encourage the community to make use of this great facility.

Enquiries on use of the facility should be directed to hccc@everybody.org.uk or by calling 01477 689557

 

We are pleased to say that the entranceway work at the community centre is now finished, providing additional car parking. This is the first step towards re-organising the car park space at the centre. The fence has been 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 users of the centre.

 

Our Village

Holmes Chapel is a large village of 6000 residents with increase to about 7500 through planned developments beyond 2020. The village centre is around a mile from Junction 18 on the M6, 20 miles north of Stoke on Trent and 25 miles south of Manchester. Originally on a drovers' route and then coaching routes, it was a farming community which had strong transport links with surrounding towns. These links were further enhanced by the coming of the railways and more recently the M6. The impact on Holmes Chapel has been a growth from about 400 residents in the 1800's with significant growth from the 1950's to the population of today.

In its infancy it was known as Church Hulme but has also been known as Hulmes Chapel. Today the name Church Hulme is mainly used for the ecclesiastical Parish of Church Hulme, made up of the townships of Holmes Chapel, Cranage and Cotton.

 

The village is now a thriving community with a good range of local shops and amenities centred in and around the Conservation Area. There are some small commercial businesses and a production plant for a branch of the pharmaceutical industry. The village is surrounded by farming countryside offering many footpaths for walking especially along the River Dane which forms the northern boundary of the village.

 

While the population growth has been significant, Holmes Chapel has retained its village character. It comprises an active social community with many local groups and societies catering for young and old. Below you can explore some of the aspects of the village and Community Organisations and Useful Links will provide further information and contact details.

Our History

 

A chapel has been a feature of the village since earliest times with a church present on the site from at least the 13th century when it was a chapel of ease to the mother church in Sandbach. The Parish Registers date from 1613 and some Bishops Transcripts from 1597. The village built up around the crossroads and the church, forming The Square which was a focal point of the village with many social functions including fairs and a cattle market. That is how it remained for many years with gradual development along the four arms of the crossroads.

The Square is now part of a conservation area which reaches from the mini roundabouts on the north side of the village to approximately Entwistle Green and the carpet shop. The northern boundary was originally formed by the old George and Dragon and the Bulls Head (demolished in 1948) which were either side of Knutsford Road. The old George and Dragon was demolished and rebuilt in its current location in 1970 to make way for the widening of Middlewich and Knutsford Roads.

In 1753 the village consisted of nineteen buildings, but in July of that year, fifteen were destroyed by fire; the Church, the Old Red Lion and two cottages survived. Hence, most of the village buildings are no older than the 18th century. 

Of the buildings which survived, the current church is the oldest dating from the 15th century. Although originally of timber frame construction, an extensive 18th century enlargement added the stone facing which can be seen today but the original church including its timber frames and roof are still intact and can be seen inside the current church.

The Old Red Lion dates from the 17th century, (if not before), the earliest documentary evidence found being the will and inventory of Thomas Gandie dated 1625. Many travellers rested here with stage coaches calling daily. In 1738 John Wesley paid his first visit to Holmes Chapel whilst on route from Oxford to Manchester. He rested and preached a sermon at the Red Lion Inn.

Much of the development after the fire was paid for by the principal land owners, the Hall family, who lived at The Hermitage. Several buildings around Holmes Chapel can be seen with a stone showing TBH and a date. T.B.H. was the initials of Thomas Bayley Hall, the last member of the Hall family at The Hermitage. Thomas Bayley Hall's estates were sold to various people after his death in 1828.

 

Holmes Chapel is still quite compact and green fields can be reached within a mile of the centre in any direction. Furthermore, it has retained its character as a village with a central parish church, several pubs and a good range of independant shops. The Village also hosts two primary schools and one secondary school.

A large number of societies and clubs are active in the village. The details of the various clubs, societies and facilities can be found by clicking the useful links button below.

A forge was established by 1840 although the site is now run by the Dale family as an agricultural engineers and farm supplier's store. Other family businesses which have existed for many generations include Mandeville's bakery (est. 1900) and Morrey's general hardware store (1850). Morrey's relocated to Manor Lane in 2014 and a Sainsbury's Local and Costa Coffee shops now occupy the original site.

Railway Station

Holmes Chapel railway station serves the village of Holmes Chapel. The station is 8½ miles north east of Crewe on the Crewe to Manchester Line.

An active Friends of the Railway Station volunteer at the station to make it an attractive gateway to the village. Please contact Tony Wright: 07414 095895 for more information on getting involved.

 

Further information on the history of the Railway and the Station can be found in the below link

 
Railway History

Dane Meadow

Dane Meadow is a 7 hectare area of land to the north of Holmes Chapel within the Dane Valley. It was an unspoilt, natural environment that was mainly used by those walking their dogs, a few fishermen and some casual walkers. The development of the Dane Meadow in 2013 – 2015 was a joint project between Holmes Chapel Parish Council, Cheshire East Borough Council and Holmes Chapel Partnership. This project made the meadow more “user-friendly”, opening its potential to be a wonderful asset to many more residents of Holmes Chapel.

In 2013 a substantial grant was obtained from Natural England under their P4C scheme to upgrade the paths to make the Dane Meadow accessible all year round to everyone. The new improved roadway (designated as a Bridleway) provides access for disabled vehicles and a limited parking area near the river.  A further grant was obtained from WREN, the waste recycling organisation, to amplify the interest and biodiversity of the site. A viewing platform, two ponds (one with a dipping platform) and a bird viewing area have been installed along with a number of informative and decorative signs and art work designed by Christine Wilcox-Baker  and crafted by Dave Broadbent. QR codes around the site link back to this website and provide further information about what you see.

 

In 2019, the Dane Meadow benefitted from ecological funding as a result of recent housing developments in the area. This will result in the establishment of a wild flower meadow.

 

Preparatory work took place during the summer of 2019, including habitat creation harrowing work, mixed seed sowing and the planting of over 500 wildflower plant plugs in September 2019.  

We have also listened to complaints about litter in the Dane Meadow, and are pleased to say that a litter bin was installed in the Dane Meadow in 2019, beside the picnic benches. The bin has been funded jointly by the Parish Council and the Holmes Chapel Partnership, assisted by a grant from Cheshire East Council, as is emptied by volunteers.

The Meadow will be further enhanced in 2020 with the planting of several hundred trees on the banking.

The long term management and future direction of activity in the Dane Meadow is the responsibility of a group of volunteers called “Friends of Dane Meadow”.  The friends meet on the first Tuesday of each month by the picnic benches in the meadow – for more information contact: insert details

Village Volunteers

Originally conceived by the Parish Council, the Village Volunteers are a familiar sight in the village, having been formed in the early “noughties” with the aim of bringing together local residents interested in keeping the village looking at its best, and attractive throughout the year.

Our activities cover gardening and litter picking in the village centre – no previous skill is necessary. We supply the tools and all we need are volunteers who can spare a small amount of time to make the village look good.

Gardening work (weeding, pruning and planting) is usually easier done when a number of volunteers work together so this work tends to take place during our planned sessions - can you help and put your green-fingers to good use? Litter pickers operate at the same time but we can also arrange for you to work independently at a time to suit you better if you prefer.

 

You don’t have to be especially fit or active and we have volunteers of quite an age range. We work on a very informal basis as we firmly believe that volunteering should be a happy and pleasant experience providing an opportunity to meet with other likeminded people.

We do appreciate that people’s busy lives mean that they cannot always commit to attending every planned session and where this is the case members are of course free to turn out as and when they can.

If you would like to learn more about helping us to keep our community such a great place to live please contact us via email at parish@johnclowes.co.uk or telephone the Village Volunteers Co-ordinators,  John Clowes (532266) or Dave Monks (532935). 

Our planned sessions are on a Sunday morning once a month from 10am to noon (February to November) and also on one Monday evening a month from 6pm to 7pm (April to September). Dates are listed here:

Sunday sessions - 10.00hrs to 12.00hrs
Monday evening sessions – 18.00hrs to 19.00hrs

Home Grown in Holmes Chapel

 

Home Grown in Holmes Chapel is the local volunteer group behind the planting of free-to-pick fruit and vegetables in the centre of Holmes Chapel . Yes - that's right they really are free for anyone to pick and enjoy- go ahead!

 

We would like to encourage people of all ages to :-

  • Eat more locally grown produce

  • Grow their own fruit and vegetables

  • Enjoy locally soured produce from our local shops

  • Help to build our local community through growing , harvesting and eating fresh food together

 

For more information and dates of meetings, please go to: http://hghc.weebly.com/

 

Dane River Hydro Power

 

The energy of the River Dane has recently been harnessed with the private installation of a Hydro-generation Plant, by the weir at the Westward side of the village.  The Hydro Plant , also known as an Archimedean Screw, has been operational since 2015. 

 

The river water is diverted into an 8 metre long threaded screw, which is turned by the current of water. This rotational energy is used to drive an electrical generator connected to the main shaft of the screw,  housed inside a control booth, which also contains diagnostic and monitoring equipment.

The  plant generates up to 92KWhr, or 500MWatts/year, all of   which is fed into the National Grid. (This is enough to supply power for 140 houses!)  The installation includes a fish pass (E) (which also acts as flood drainage) as well as an eel path.  After successful re-instatement of the surrounding site, flora and fauna are subsequently thriving. 

 
Dane River Hydro
Project

Dementia Friendly Village

 

The Parish Council are very supportive of the Holmes Chapel Partnership initiative in making Holmes Chapel a Dementia Friendly village.  For more information about the project please go to: https://www.hcpartnership.org.uk/copy-of-future-projects

 

Walking Routes

 

The Holmes Chapel Partnership have produced a map of walks in the area of Holmes Chapel.

Copies are available in the Parish Office or the library, or you can down load here.