Bright ideas and sunshine: Life returns to the Old School Hall windows

We brought life back to the Old School Hall windows today with a show of the 3 main ideas we are developing in our feasibility study for the hall. Support was strong and deep for a positive and community benefitting angle to bring the Hall back in to use. Some fascinating conversations with people who showed up today, including Doug who has been living near the Hall for 65 years and was a pupil at the school in the 1950s.

The 3 ideas we presented are all based on approaches we have had from groups and businesses who are interested in occupying the building:

  • Option A: A food hub: Dedicated to food production and learning about food, including a bakery, cafe and large hall for education and events. Several small food businesses would be based in the building. Strong association to the windmill would make this a national destination as well as a local centre.
  • Option B: An education or day centre. A secure part of the building offers education or day support for people with disabilities, excluded school pupils or maybe a nursery. A large cafe takes up the rest of the building, perhaps with a direct connection to the WIndmill Park. During evenings and weekends, the school hall can be booked for events.
  • Option C: A business hub. A charitable business owns the hall and sublets part of it to a bakery/cafe, part of which can be used for community meetings and small events. The business offers ‘coworking’ or shared desk space and use of meeting rooms to local groups and charities.

We will be releasing an online form of the consultation shortly, but it was great today to meet people in person and talk through their preferences in depth. The sun shone and the snacks provided by Small Food Bakery were delicious, especially the 'Ey Up' bread made with Green's Mill flour. Thanks to Sneinton Alchemy for hosting the event, WIND for clearing up the car park before the event, the Old School Hall Community Association for providing the pagoda, table and chairs. A special shout out to Nottingham Trent University 2nd year architecture students who have been working with dOSH Chair Tom Hughes of 2hD Architects on modelling the 3 business scenarios. An all who attended and had their say, thank you for your input and support.