Who we are
The Brookvale Community Association (BCA) was set up in 1973 by local residents eager to protect the area, after a large part of the ward (all of Brook Street, most of May Street and the east end of Lower Brook Street) was torn down by eager town centre developers. The first meeting was held at the King George V Playing Fields on Deep Lane, and most of the concerned community attended. The Association was successful in its mission and the historic area, with its beautiful Victorian homes, was saved.
Brookvale Village Hall
Brookvale Village HallIn May 1983, after years of fund raising and the provision of grants from Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council and Hampshire County Council, Brookvale Village Hall was completed and has been a central focal and meeting point for the community ever since. A much needed extension was added in 1987 with money raised entirely by the residents of Brookvale. A large part of the Hall was destroyed in a fire in December 1999 and the Association was pushed to crisis point, but residents again rallied around to make the rebuild happen, and both the Association and a newly rebuilt Hall continues to operate to this day.
The BCA represents the interests of the Brookvale community. We have a formal constitution in which the BCA's objectives are outlined as follows:
"[The BCA exists for the] benefit of the inhabitants of Brookvale and the neighbourhood by associating the local authorities, voluntary organisations and inhabitants in a common effort to advance education and to provide facilities in the interests of social welfare for recreation and leisure time occupation, with the object of improving the conditions of life for the said inhabitants. [The BCA] will establish a Community Centre [and maintain and manage this] Centre for activities promoted by the Association and its constituent bodies in furtherance of the above."
For more detail, you can look at the text of our constitution.
For the BCA to run successfully there should be, ideally, ten members. There has to be a Treasurer, Secretary and Chairman for the committee to actually function, but on the current committee we have a Booking Agent, Mobility and Disabilities officer, Hall Maintenance team, Lottery Agent as well as committee members who have various other organising roles. New committee members are always welcome; to get involved people need to be proposed, seconded and voted onto the committee. There are also street reps.
To join us, please complete the Membership Form and email or post it to us.
Benefits also include:
- Free drinks when helping with events.
- First 4 children get free event tickets.
- Promotional Discounts (please contact for more details).
Brookvale Village Hall
A Potted History of the Development of the Hall:
The Brookvale Community Association was formed after the Great Destruction of the town centre in 1966 to prevent Brookvale from being demolished. In May 1983, after years of fund raising by the residents and local businesses (25%) and the provision of grants from Hampshire County Council (50%) Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council (25%), the original single roomed, Brookvale Village Hall was completed and has been a central focal and meeting point for the community ever since. A much needed extension forming the committee room was added in 1987 with money raised entirely by the residents of Brookvale. A large part of the Hall was destroyed in a fire in December 1999 and the Association was pushed to crisis point, but residents again rallied around to make the rebuild happen, a furniture store and disabled ramp was added.
In 2011 the BCA were awarded a substantial B&DBC s106 Developer’s grant to improve the Brookvale Village Hall. Feasibility studies were organised which did not make best use of the money nor solve the many functional issues pertaining to the use of the hall.
A presentation was made to the BCA committee to “wrap” the existing building in a thermally efficient and sound proof extension to the North and West. The extension would incorporate a second floor for useful added space, a link corridor to access the rooms separately and lots of extra storage.
The committee approved the proposal in principle and agreed to proceed with a consultation with the residents on the 2Mar12 and later the application for planning permission.
The feedback from the consultation was good. An idea to place a clock on a tower in the middle of Thornycroft roundabout had recently not proceeded due to a lack of funding. One suggestion was to rescue the preserved Thornycroft clock from the Milestones museum and place it on the new extension to the hall. This was readily agreed to by the committee.
In the spring of 2012 40 PV panels were erected on the south face of the old hall roof. Due to the load of the power produced a new electric cable was required to be run from the old hall around the carpark and into the electricity main in Lower Brook Street.
Drawings and a specification were prepared and refined, once approved an application for planning permission was submitted to B&DBC in June 2012. This was followed by many months of discussion extending and revising the plans to the shape and proportions which would be acceptable to the planners.
On the 7Aug12 The committee approved the addition of a clock tower to the planning application drawings set on top of the lift shaft, and the extension the building to the west to break up an otherwise long blank wall. This wall detail was required to be mirrored at the other end of the building.
Discussions continued throughout the winter 2012/13 The BCA were required to produce 3D drawings from all 4 corners of the proposal so that the Council officers could better visualise the proposal. Eventually on 23rd June 2013 the plans were approved by the Council.
The project was then put out to tender to four contractors. Clearly the planning requirement for extra floor areas and wall details to extend the footprint of the building; meant that for prices to remain in budget the building of the Thornycroft Clock tower would have to be delayed until phase two (see specification dated 22Jul13).
The phase 1 price was negotiated and a contractor selected, building commenced on 23Jul13. After many months of builder’s delay and frustration we saw phase one finally completed on 8Jul14.
The next year saw the BCA getting used to their new home and recovering funds which of course were seriously depleted after paying for the extension despite the various grants received and a fierce defence of the claims for additional costs from the contractor.
Funds for phase 2, the design, building, testing and commissioning of the clock tower were just not available. It is hoped that the tower and Thornycroft Clock project will eventually be realised.
Having tried an alternative the committee have reverted to a tried and tested method of hall management using volunteers and a few paid operatives. The community work continues, it is hoped that local residents will partake in rekindling community spirit.
Both the Association and a newly rebuilt Brookvale Hall continue to operate successfully to this day.