Band Room Redevelopment – The Story

Bilton Silver (Rugby) Band has finally fulfilled a dream, by replacing its dilapidated out-of-date premises with a brand new purpose-built band room and community hall, on its site in Winwick Place Bilton. The work, which was completed at the end of June 2012, is the culmination of some 12 years of planning and fund raising by the Band and marks yet another significant stage in its journey since beginning life in 1893.

The project arose from our recognising, sometime in the year 2000, that the rapid growth of both the Band and the Training Band had left us in a situation where the existing facilities were no longer physically large enough to accommodate and sustain the Band’s activities. In addition, although having served the Band well for over 50 years, the building construction, specification and facilities fell far short of meeting today’s expectations and standards. The committee very much became aware that decisive action was needed to protect and secure the future of the Band for the generations to come, and hence the adventure had begun.

Professional advice was sought and following months of deliberation it became apparent that the most practical and cost effective way to meet the Band’s objectives was to demolish the existing building and replace it with a brand new structure. In 2003 a development fund was set up and the search for the substantial amount of funding required was underway. Considerable heartache and disappointment was to follow, until finally in July 2008 the band at last had a positive response from one of the major funding bodies. Re-invigorated, we pressed on, although it was another two years, in August 2010, before another success, closely followed by a third in December 2010.

Despite this considerable success, the list of possible funding sources was exhausted and still we remained short of our initial target. However, following discussions with prospective builders and the Architect to assess our options, it became apparent that with some compromise to material specification we could retain the original design concept and still achieve our objectives within the level of funding available.

In July 2011 our building contractor was appointed and despite a further delay due to the discovery of asbestos in the existing building, demolition was finally completed between 5th December and Christmas 2011. Ground works to excavate the foundations began on 4th January 2012 and between then and our grand opening on 30th June 2012 we proudly watched our magnificent new building rise from the debris.

The new hall is the result of extensive planning and consultation and provides a modern environment-friendly building, completed to budget, that maximises the available space and provides a secure home base for the long term future of both our bands and an excellent and affordable meeting place for a variety of local community groups. We give our grateful thanks to Veolia Environmental Trust, Biffa Award, Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN), Rugby Borough Council and all who helped us achieve such a successful outcome.

Ian Bowles

October 2012

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