Upkeep and Improvements

Preamble

Keeping a Victorian public building fit for purpose whilst adapting to changing needs is a constant challenge. Additionally, general upkeep and maintenance remain an everyday labour of love.

The hall was built in 1893 to a tight budget (£2,000 - slightly exceeded) but the need for additional facilities was soon identified. In 1905 the kitchen was added to the west side. Then, during the inter-war years, the changing rooms were added to the rear of the building and later the store room was added along with the upstairs ladies WC on the east side.

In 1923 the original floor in the main and small halls was replaced with the sprung maple dance floor that we still use today. In the 1960s the hall was re-roofed with its highly conspicuous rosemary tiles. The most significant upgrade came in 1973 when the outgoing town council, prior to being superseded by West Dunbartonshire Council, poured all its financial resources into hall improvements. Much structural work was undertaken, the library extended to occupy the space of the mezzanine balcony and the ceilings lowered.  

Little happened thereafter until the hall was taken into community ownership in 2001 and essential repairs funded by a council gift of £50K saved the building from a spiralling decline.

Since then improvements and upgrades have been undertaken as finances and grant donations permitted. The installation of the disabled ramp and the upgrade of the male and disabled WC came in 2006, the car park redesign and resurfacing in 2011. The kitchen was upgraded in 2013 and the ladies WC in 2014.  Along with these upgrades, repairs and maintenance continued unabated. Water ingress through the front façade has always been problematic – possibly since the original build. Contractors undertook work in 2005 but this failed to resolve the problems.   

In 2019 the full front façade was surveyed and costed for structural work and repointing. Costs escalated and it was decided to limit the work to the worst affected areas – the small hall and Library façade. This was undertaken in the summer of 2019 at a cost of £280K but although greatly improved, the problem was not 100% rectified. Currently the application of water resistant chemicals on small areas of single skin decorative sandstone is being considered.

Project planning

Necessary repair to the remainder of the hall's exterior is now incorporated into a phased plan with fundraising determining timescale.

External Projects

PhaseDescriptionComment
1Front West FacadeComplete 2019
2Front East Façade
- Includes tower and tower roof
Surveyed and costed in 2023 -  £300K
3Roof
- Replace tiles (consider slates)
- Lead valleys/gutters
Not costed
4Walls – Stonework renovation
- Back and sides
- Render modern extension for store and WC
Not costed

Internal Projects

Although external maintenance is an essential priority the directors are also considering internal improvements. Currently this focuses on a major upgrade of the Main Hall and stage.

1Fire Exit
- Fire door and external groundwork
Costed and grant application submitted
2Modular Stage
- Upgrade PA
- Upgrade Lighting
- Storage
- Access to rear fire exit
Subject of forthcoming feasibility study. Grant application in progress.
3Auditorium including Small Hall
- General refurbishment
- Upgrade Lighting (grant application in progress)
- Upgrade Heating
4Vaulted ceiling reinstatement
- Remove asbestos ceiling in Main Hall
- Remove asbestos ceiling in Small Hall and reinstate original ceiling.
5Balcony reinstatement
- Access door from stair landing
- Access to/from Library
6Library redesign layout
- Change rear screen wall
- Join to balcony

Coming Soon
at Cove Burgh Hall

    Other Events

    Facade project funded by:

    Awarded:

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