The new, state-of-the-art Burton Green Village Hall has been officially opened at an event attended by Jeremy Wright MP, Warwick District Councillor Andrew Day and Cheryl Wall, Chair of the Burton Green Village Hall trustees.
HS2 has worked with the Burton Green Village Hall since 2014 to design and build the brand new facility that will serve the local community for decades to come.
Key features of the new building – which was built by Coventry-based Deeley Construction and designed by Dave Benn and John Viner from local firm VB architects – include an expansive main hall complete with exposed wooden beams, a professional kitchen, outdoor BBQ area, reception, and dedicated office space.
The site has been equipped with a car park complete with electric vehicle charging ports and a bicycle rack. The trustees also plan to install a water butt to conserve rainwater, which they will used to maintain the site grounds.
The building also features a series of stained-glass windows produced by local artist Vicki Aizlewood, influenced by drawings from children at Burton Green C of E Primary School. The windows depict the past, present and future of the nearby Greenway, with the final scene showing the re-established Greenway, complete with a HS2 train running underneath.
Alan Payne, Senior Project Manager at HS2 Ltd said: “Burton Green’s Village Hall has been almost a decade in the making and highlights the importance of HS2’s continued engagement with the local community.
“In another decade’s time, the Burton Green tunnel box will be hidden underground and covered in high quality wildlife habitat, and our investment will mean that the Village Hall will still be around to serve as a vital community hub for local people.”
Cheryl Wall, Chair of the Burton Green Village Hall trustees, said: “It’s just over one hundred years since the first Village Hall opened in Burton Green, and forty since the current building was constructed, both of which were conceived, funded and managed by enthusiastic community-minded volunteers.
“Campaigning for and delivering a new facility that builds on and enhances that legacy has been a long and challenging journey. We are delighted with the end result and believe Burton Green’s new village hall is a first-class facility of which the whole community can be proud.”
Eleanor Deeley, Joint Managing Director of the Deeley Group, said: “We are proud to have been involved in creating this modern and energy-efficient facility which will be at the heart of the community in Burton Green. We have a long history of creating community facilities which bring lasting benefit, and it is fantastic to see the village hall now open for local people to use.”
The new facility commands panoramic views of the Burton Green Tunnel, which is currently under construction by HS2’s main works civils contractor in the West Midlands, Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV).
To build the green tunnel, a cutting has been created along the line of the existing Burton Green and Kenilworth Greenway. High speed trains will travel underneath Cromwell Lane through a 700-metre green tunnel, sensitively integrating the railway into the surrounding landscape and enhancing local biodiversity.
Construction of the tunnel is well underway, with over 148 roof segments already installed as part of the 200-metre long concrete porous portal, with each segment weighing over 22 tonnes.
HS2 has created a temporary Greenway that currently runs alongside the new hall. Once construction is complete, the Greenway will be restored close its original alignment, running across the top of the new tunnel, providing a link from Burton Green to Kenilworth and Berkswell for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders.
Large-scale planting of native trees and shrubs will provide biodiverse habitats for wildlife, shield the Greenway visibly from the new railway, and re-establish vegetated connections to Black Waste Wood and Little Poors Wood.
The new hall neighbours one of the 119 new wildlife sites that have already been created along HS2’s line of route as part of HS2’s green corridor programme, which aims to create more than 33 square kilometres of new wildlife habitats between London and the West Midlands. The ecology site includes extensive tree planting, mitigation ponds, hibernacula piles and native grassland- which supplies a biodiverse habitat for wildlife.
Photo credit: HS2 Ltd