ShEEP MUSIC and PRESTEIGNE AND NORTON TOWN COUNCIL ARE PROPOSING -
This is a brief outline of what we are proposing as a possible joint project between Sheep Music and Presteigne and Norton Town Council to build a permanent events venue on Went’s Meadow.
For years Went’s Meadow has been used as a location to hold community events such as Sheep Music and Presteigne Carnival as well as one off events and performances. On most occasions the group involved has had to rent marquees and other equipment such as staging and flooring to put on these events. Our proposal is to build a permanent structure to replace the need to rent some of this equipment and to encourage more community groups to use the meadow.
THE BARN DESIGN
Since we started thinking about his barn, the design has been changed and refined based on speaking with events organisers, builders and community leaders. We have discussed extensively the location, orientation, construction and aesthetic of the building to come up with what we feel is a well considered plan.
The proposed barn is a 15m x 14m space comprising of a 15m x 8m main structure modelled after old fashioned dutch barns commonly seen in the surrounding area with a 3.5m wide lean-to at the rear and 2.5m cantilevered lean-to on the front. We have tried to maintain the appearance of a traditional barn on the outside of the building with a bit of a sense of the theatre on the inside.
The idea is to provide a structure that will be open and exposed when not in use so as not to create a hideaway to loiter in and will be able to be closed up for events to keep the weather out. This will be essentially possible because of the sliding doors which will be locked open when the barn is not in use and closed up when it is. Our ultimate goal is to create a building that will be practical and intimate when in use and safe and unobtrusive the rest of the time.
The vast majority of the structure stands over 12ft high on columns to keep it out of reach of vandals and the lower down walls will be very solidly built and not provide purchase to climb higher up the structure.
The barn is oriented with it's open side towards the play park to strike a balance between maintaining a connection with the existing small barn which would likely be used for catering, bars, tickets etc. at events, keeping the open side of the barn out of the prevailing wind from the west and pointing the event noise away from nearby houses I.E. aiming for a corridor between the houses on Wilson Terrace and the new development on Knighton Road. The barn also sits low down on the field and is mostly blocked by a line of trees next to the access road between the meadow and the playing field.
We will also run a supply of electricity into the barn to power lights, sound systems and any other equipment needed for events.
BUILDING THE BARN
The plan is for the barn to be built by the community. We have talked to lots of people in the community willing to help, from experienced builders to enthusiastic amateurs.
The build will be organised by the Presteigne Order of Shedwrights who put on the triumphant 2 day shed building competition 'Dawn of the Shed' and built the huge dragon bonfire for Guy Fawkes night in 2017.
We will organise a schedule of build days and rosters of volunteers to complete the project. We have already been offered some assistance with loans of tools and resources and will be able to get a better sense closer to the start of the build as to how much equipment we will need.
FUNDING THE BARN
We have started working on raising the funds to build the barn. We have received donations for local organisations and very generous local individuals, we are in the process of applying for several grants and we have now started a crowd funding scheme. If you are interested in offering a contribution please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will sort out how best for you to send money.
We are selling Presteigne Order of Shedwrights pin badges for £10 or for £100 your name can live on in Presteigne history carved into the column uprights of the barn.
USING THE BARN
The primary aim of the barn is to make putting on community events on Went's Meadow easier. We have a lot of experience of putting on events down on the field and have a good sense of what could be improved and made easier.
The barn should be made available to anyone wanting to put appropriate events on for the community and should be available to use essentially for free but if an event is a success and makes enough money we would encourage the organisers to donate to a fund for the barn's upkeep.
A big advantage of having a space like this would be to reduce the worry of events loosing money. There a lots of factors that can adversely effect events on Went's Meadow like the weather, clashing schedules with other local events, organisational difficulties etc. And having the security of not having to pay for the event space if things do go wrong should hopefully give the organisers more confidence to carry on.
It also will provide a sheltered space in the meadow for organisations like youth groups that might want to use it for events that don't charge a fee.
It is really important to note that this is a replacement for the marquees that organisations need to rent for events. This is not a proposal for an arts centre or a night club to be built on Went's Meadow. The barn will need to be setup and packed away every time an event is held and is not a plan to dramatically change the use or the atmosphere of the meadow.
ADOPTION OF THE BARN
We are proposing that the barn be adopted by The Town Council as part of the whole entity that is Went's Meadow.
This proposal has been presented to the Town Council who are now considering it and we would like to present it to the wider community to get your thoughts and feedback.
We hope this barn will be a great asset to Presteigne’s rich culture of music, arts and community events as well as showing off what a special place Went’s Meadow is.