KLH Architects

When the Cockfield Village Hall Management Committee needed some professional advice on what could be done with their veteran toilets, ProHelp Suffolk member KLH Architects gave them more help than they'd dared hope for.

The company

KLH Architects Ltd is a Suffolk based RIBA Chartered Architect Practice established in 1989.  They provide design, planning and project management expertise in healthcare, residential, commercial and leisure development in East Anglia and London. Alan Wilkinson has been a long-standing member of ProHelp and has assisted with a large number of projects throughout the county.

I feel that the ProHelp system is brilliant and, if it isn't being greedy, something the village will certainly avail itself of for future projects.

- Janne Cutting-Keyton,
Chair of Cockfield Village Hall Management Committee
The project

Janne Cutting-Keyton, Chair of Cockfield Village Hall Management Committee, writes:

Cockfield Village Hall will be 40 next July (2016) and so will its kitchen and toilet facilities! Although the structure of the hall is fine, and actually looks quite contemporary, it's the facilities which are letting it down. Sadly we are increasingly finding hirers looking elsewhere because our kitchen is very basic and the toilets do not match current expectations.

As a village we are quite capable of applying for grant funding for projects but our quandary was how do we go about finding what the possibilities for refurbishment were. Unfortunately there is not an architect in the village we could cajole into advising us and until you know what can be done and the projected costs, you can't apply for funding.

To our rescue came Sue Clements, External Funding Officer for Babergh and Mid-Suffolk District Councils, who told us about the existence of ProHelp Suffolk and explained how it puts organisations such as ourselves in contact with professionals who undertook work on a pro bono basis.

We made contact with ProHelp Suffolk who were very helpful and duly put us in touch with an architect. Not just any old architect but one experienced in working on Village Hall refurbishment.

We were not quite sure how the system worked, what we could ask him to do and what the hidden catch was, but our worries were groundless.  Alan Wilkinson of KLH Architects explained he would measure up and produce a set of plans which would enable the costing to be done and grant funding applied for. The grant funding application would include an amount for the detailed working plans to be produced and he said he could also oversee the works for us if we wanted, all work to that point would be undertaken free of charge.

To date the measuring up has been completed and we have outline drawings of two schemes to study.

You really cannot compromise on employing a professional. He had the idea of changing the male and female toilet areas over, which made so much sense and gave us a solution to the inevitable queue you get at events. His knowledge of legislation meant the baby changing facilities could be re-sited worry free, and he suggested a special shutter for the kitchen hatch to minimise the sound transference from the kitchen to the main hall.

The drawings also show a radical (well radical for us) revamp of our storage space, which could be a little too forward thinking, but we will look at everything with an open mind and with the security of an experts knowledge to guide us.