Welcome to the Allmond Centre – Cowfold’s new community and sports facility
Many of you will be familiar with the old Sports Pavilion on the Playing Field in the centre of Cowfold. This was an ex-Army building that was acquired and re-assembled on the Playing Field in 1976. This became increasingly dilapidated and difficult to maintain and has now been replaced with a new building the community can be proud of that is visually attractive and enhances the overall appearance of the village.
The facilities have been upgraded to meet not only the needs of the current users but also the additional anticipated needs of the whole community for the foreseeable future.
The scheme incorporates new changing room facilities for home and away teams and officials, which are designed to meet the current requirements of the football authorities and, for example, provide better privacy arrangements for the safeguarding of young people.
A new extension incorporates a community room, bar, kitchen,store room, male and female toilets as well as a fully compliant disabled person’s toilet facility, which includes baby-changing apparatus.
The new community/assembly room has triple aspect visibility to the North, South and East. The kitchen and bar facilities have generous space with a separate stable door to the exterior allowing the service of food during outdoor events.
The new building is a small barn-style structure with roof spaces open to the ridge and the new extension dominates the existing structure and forms a vernacular styled building, wholly befitting the countryside setting.
The orientation of the building provides a very pleasant place to sit and watch sport and the room could be used for a variety of other activities. A patio area is provided alongside the new extension with tables and chairs for sitting out on sunny days.
Re-opening of the Allmond Centre post COVID-19 closure
The position as of May 2021 is as follows:
- The Community Area can be hired for limited activities that allow current restrictions on social mixing to be adhered to (including social distancing); hirers are also required to comply with the COVID-19 Special Conditions of Hire, a copy of which can be provided on request. The Council hopes that the restrictions will be lifted by the Government in June 2021 but, of course, cannot make any commitments at this time.
- In line with Government guidelines, the Changing Rooms remain closed at present but the situation will be reviewed on a regular basis.
For further information or to make a provisional booking, please contact the Parish Clerk, Jan Wright (Tel: 01403 864 806; Email: email@example.com).
The new facility has an L shaped layout that includes the original footprint of the old pavilion and an extension that forms a larger community room with a bar and modern kitchen, as well as a lobby area, separate male and female toilets, an easily accessible disabled toilet and more storage.
The larger community room has triple aspect visibility to the North, South and East and incorporates floor-to-ceiling windows in the East elevation, offering attractive views over the Playing Field and making the room itself lighter and airier. It also has direct access to a patio area, which will allow a wider range of functions to be accommodated. This includes the possibility of adding a marquee extension for wedding receptions, etc.
The changing rooms have been upgraded to comply with the more stringent requirements of the football authorities. They also meet modern youth safeguarding requirements and include officials’ changing facilities for both male and females and the provision of privacy screens.
It is seen that the extension forms the community room and allows more space in the existing footprint for lobby areas, separate toilets and more storage. With this arrangement, the community/social facilities can be completely separated from the changing rooms.
The new facility offers the following benefits to the residents of Cowfold and the surrounding area:
- An attractive new structure which will improve the appearance of the village and enhance its reputation in the area
- A building with better facilities and more space for existing users
- An improved indoor environment with modern equipment which will attract the return of previous users and new activities (both sport and non-sport related)
- A community/meeting area that can be used as a hub for the village and local businesses
- An outdoor seating area, which can be used for community events and commercial/private functions.
- Usable floor area in main room: 9m x 4.5m
- Capacity: To comply with fire regulations, no more than 60 persons are allowed in the Community Area at any one time; in practice, the capacity depends on the type of function and layout of furniture and, typically, a comfortable limit is around 40 – 50 persons.
- Home and away team changing rooms: capacity for 18 players in each.
- Officials changing room: capacity for four officials
The community area has a separate entrance to a lobby that leads to the community room and male/female toilets as well as a fully compliant disabled persons toilet facility, which includes baby-changing apparatus and a shower cubicle that can be used by female officials on match days.
The community room has a usable area of 9m by 4,5m and incorporates a bar in one corner for serving drinks and food. It has floor to ceiling windows in the East elevation with views over the Playing Field and access to a large patio area via doors in the South wall.
An audio-visual system is installed with a high definition ceiling-mounted projector, motorised 2m screen, surround sound system, satellite TV and an induction loop for the hard of hearing. The facility also has a Wi-Fi hub with superfast broadband.
The furniture in the community room can be configured for a wide range of activities, including:
- Small meetings
- Café/informal clubs
- Training workshops
- Children’s parties
- Theatre-style events
Layouts for some of these are shown below.
Behind the bar area is a modern kitchen that is equipped with a dual induction hob and extraction hood, two ovens, a fridge freezer and an industrial-standard dishwasher, as well as a sink with drainer, worktops and cupboards/cabinets. The kitchen has a stable door to the exterior that can be used for the serving of food during outdoor events.
The Welcome Club has kindly donated a range of cooking utensils as well as a variety of crockery, glasses and cutlery. More details can be obtained from the Booking Officer.
The facilities have been designed to meet FA ground grading requirements and each players’ room provides a privacy lobby (that prevents a direct view into the changing rooms), 18sqm of usable changing area, a wc cubicle, wash hand basin and four showers; seating is provided for 18 persons/players with lockers beneath; high level storage racks are also available.
The officials’ changing room has a privacy screen, bench space for four persons, a wc cubicle, wash hand basin and shower and a usable floor area in excess of 5sqm. (A shower is also available in the disabled toilet in the community area for use by female officials, if required.)
A terrace area is available in front of the building with wooden picnic tables and direct access from floor to ceiling doors at the South end of the community room.
The area is ideal for family and children’s parties and barbecues in the summer months. The terrace can also accommodate a 12m by 6m marquee attachment that makes the facility ideal for wedding receptions.
The Community room is a fantastic venue for small to medium parties and can be laid out in a variety of styles. Food can be prepared in the fully-equipped kitchen and drinks/refreshments can be served from the bar. The audio-visual system allows users to stream their own music through the surround sound system and show images/videos via the ceiling-mounted HD projector and motorised screen. And, of course, in good weather, the party can spill out on to the patio area by opening up the double doors………..
The Community Room, with its attractive bar and kitchen behind is a great venue for drop-in cafes and informal get-togethers……….
The community room is an ideal size for small workshops and training courses. The tables and chairs can be arranged in rows or in a more informal cafe style. The HD projector and motorised screen can be set up in minutes and you are ready to go…………
Coffees and teas can be prepared in the modern kitchen and served from the adjoining bar.
The chairs can be arranged in a theatre style for presentations and talks for up to 40 attendees. The HD projector and motorised screen can be set up in minutes and used to display Powerpoint slides and videos.
The Centre is located on the Playing Field in the centre of Cowfold. Space is available for approximately 20 vehicles in the adjacent public car park. The address is:
The Allmond Centre
The Playing Field
The Allmond Centre
Note that the Changing Rooms can only be booked by directly contacting the Booking Officer.
The availability of the Community Area can be viewed via the online diary and the facility can be booked as follows.
1. Check the availability of the Community Area:
Open the real time weekly diary and navigate to the date of interest using the “previous”/”next” buttons above the diary. If there are existing bookings on that day, click on the individual events to see more details and ensure that the facility is available for the times you require.
2. Make a booking request/provisional booking:
To make a booking request online from the weekly calendar or scheduler, click on the + symbol on the date you wish to book. If you are making a booking request for the first time, you will be asked to enter your contact details and a password so that you can track your booking status online, much in the same way you would with an online shopping website.
Once you have done this, you will need to complete the rest of the booking request form as follows:
- Room/Facility: You only have the option to tick the Community Area and, if also required, the Cooking Equipment. (To book the Changing Rooms, please contact the Booking Officer directly.)
- Name: This is the name of the event and, if the booking status is set to Public, will appear in the calendars and will in turn link to the event description. This is ideal if you are running a class or public meeting. If you don’t want this to appear, you just need to set the booking privacy status to Private.
- Start Date/Time: The start date and time of the event. If this is a recurring booking, this is the start date and time of the first event in the series.
- End Date/Time: The end date and time of the event. If this is a recurring booking, this is the end date and time of the first event in the series. Make sure to click on the green Check Availability button. If there is a clash of bookings at any date or time, a red error message will display saying ‘The dates of this booking clash with other dates in the calendar, or they don’t end after they begin’. You can then check the weekly calendar or scheduler at the top of the screen to see where the clash is and amend the booking accordingly. Note: You cannot proceed with creating a booking request while there is a clash.
- Recurring Booking: If this is a recurring booking eg: for a class or course, tick this box to be given the different options of Daily, Weekly etc. along with how many additional dates you want to add to the series. Individual dates in a series can be amended to a different date or time. To move an individual date in a series to a different room however, you will need to ask the Hall or Venue Administrator to do this for you once the booking has been created.
- Customer: Start typing your name or email address and your name will be displayed for you to select. (Note: you need to type at least three letters to enable the auto-search.) Alternatively, click on the drop down arrow to retrieve your details.
- Description: You can put as much or as little information about the event itself, including prices, what to bring, tickets and include links to websites etc
- Public: The Weekly Calendar and Scheduler will show the Event Name and a link to the description and your contact details, once the booking has been confirmed by an administrator. If the event is still to be confirmed, the calendar will continue to display as ‘Provisional Booking’
- Private: The Weekly Calendar and Scheduler will only show the time the event is booked for, whether the bookings status is set to Requested or Confirmed. The booking will display as ‘Private Event’ and not show your Event Name or a link to the description and your contact details.Privacy: There are two privacy settings for bookings:
- Number of People Attending: This should be just an approximate number but it is not a required field.
- Special Requirements: This can be a list of any specific requirements such as tables and chairs, use of kitchen etc.
- Save Booking: Once completed, when you press Save, the request will automatically be sent to the Administrator for processing. (Note: You will also be shown a link that will take you to your bookings.)
By email or by phone:
Contact the Booking Officer directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01403865080. A provisional booking will then be added to the Weekly Calendar and Scheduler.
3. Submitting a Booking Form:
Download the Booking Form here; print off and complete a copy. Alternatively, the Booking Form (and the associated Conditions of Hire document) can be emailed to you by the Booking Officer.
The Booking Officer
c/o 5 Church Path
4. Make payment:
If your request is approved, we will send you an invoice. When you receive it, please send a cheque to the above address or make a bank transfer.
If a refundable deposit is required (to cover possible damage, breakages and extra cleaning costs), this should be provided as a separate cheque.
5. Confirmation of Booking:
Once the form and payment are received, your booking will be confirmed and instructions for access to, and use of, the facility will be provided.
6. Further Information:
Please email email@example.com or call the Booking Officer on 01403 865080 if you have any queries.
Note that the changing rooms can only be booked by directly contacting the Booking Officer.
(PART HOURS ARE CHARGED AS FULL HOURS)
|Residents||Non-residents and Businesses|
|Community Area including Kitchen(4)||£13.00||£20.00|
- The rates apply from 1 September 2022.
- The minimum hire period is one hour.
- The hire period must include any time required for setting up and clearing away.
- The hire of the community area includes the use of the Kitchen for teas and coffees, etc. Use of the cooking facilities (ovens, hobs, etc) will incur a surcharge of £7.00 per session.
Security Deposits may be applied to cover against damage, breakages, lost items including keys and extra cleaning costs. These must be paid at the time of booking.
For known non-commercial users and village residents, the Council can, at its discretion, waive the requirement to pay a security deposit.
For all children’s and family parties, a deposit of £50.00 will normally apply.
For non-residents and business users, a deposit of £30.00 will be applied for use of the Community Area.
For non-residents, a deposit of £50.00 will be applied for use of the Changing Rooms.
The facility is available for hire from 9:00am to 11:59pm.
The Allmond Centre is fully owned by Cowfold Parish Council and is managed by the members of the Council.
Building The Project
Construction commenced in June 2017 and the facility was first used in March 2018.
The project has been funded through a combination of local fund-raising, local government grants and a Public Works Loan.
The project team was as follows:
Architect: Douglas Edwards
Quantity Surveyor: David Payne
Building Contractor: Fowler
The Council was pleased that Fowler had been selected as the preferred contractor as it has been an important employer within the village since its founding in 1853 and had built a number of prominent buildings in the area, including the Village Hall, which was completed to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1896.
Here are a series of photographs that show the Sports Pavilion as it was through to how it is now!