VICTORIA HALL PLANS FOR REOPENING
WE ARE PROPOSING TO REOPEN FOR BOOKINGS FROM 1st SEPTEMBER!
Over the last 3 months the C&DCC, through the VHMC, has continuously reviewed the situation since the use of the Hall for the Scottish Elections on 6th May. Once all the necessary protocols and precautions were put in place (one way systems, social distancing etc.), this proved to be a useful exercise in understanding what will be necessary for the Hall to reopen. In addition we are taking guidance from the HTSI (Highland Third Sector Interface) as to how we might be able to reopen the Hall, as well as seeking Highland Council support. Obviously Scottish Government decisions impact this whole process. We are responsible for not only establishing clear guidance as to what is required, but also making sure that a hirer follows that guidance. These requirements make no allowance for whether the Hall is run by volunteers or paid staff. The Health & Safety standards are the legal priority and cannot be delegated to hirers. It is the legal responsibility of the Hall to provide a safe venue.
What does this mean for the Victoria Hall?
- We have to ensure that the way we run the Hall has to keep people safe and stop the spread of the virus.
- We have to ensure that use of the Hall is in line with all Health Protection guidance.
- We have to ensure that all users of the Hall follow and practice the guidance that we establish for the use of the Victoria Hall.
WHAT MUST HAPPEN
- We have calculated a PDBC (Physical Distance Based Capacity) for the Hall, based on users maintaining sensible distancing.
- We will complete a full Venue Risk Assessment of the Hall, which will include the PDBC, how the space will be used, how entry and exit points will be used, what cleaning routines are required, what gaps between lettings are needed, what signage is required and, given the extended closure of the Hall, what health considerations need to be addressed (e.g. required building repairs, water supply hygiene etc.)
- We will create a new Booking Form to reflect all aspects of the Venue Risk Assessment results. This new Booking Form will require all hirers to accept all the Hall’s guidance and responsibilities for ensuring the delivery of this guidance by all users. All hirers will be required to complete their own Risk Assessment that covers their particular activity or event and to submit this to the Hall with the Booking Form. The Hall will then hopefully confirm that the booking’s risk assessment conforms to all the Hall’s requirements. Currently all users of the Hall will be required to wear face masks, except when consuming food/drink, dancing and for medical exemption reasons.
- The cost of extra cleaning between lettings will probably need to be added to the hire cost but for now we will attempt to maintain previous rental fees as we budget for an unknown future. To be reviewed.
- The hirer will be required to keep accurate Test & Protect records with verified contact details. We will be required to make sure the hirer is following the conditions of hire.
PRACTICAL PLAN FOR REOPENING
- PDBC for the Hall is now calculated as 100, based on 155sqm, based on sensible indoor 1m social distancing. Good ventilation will be encouraged.
- Initially, bookings will be restricted to previous regular users and Cromarty residents. Regular users will be asked to start booking after 5th September.
- The Youth Cafe has mainly operated outdoors, but will commence indoor sessions from 8th September. Their sessions will now be on Wednesdays, for 2021. There will then be a review of whether they return to Mondays.
- Regular Users who are registered key-holders will not be allowed access to the Hall, outside the times for booked sessions. This is very important.
This plan will be monitored on a weekly basis, and any update will appear here and on the Cromarty Live website.
The C&DCC, at its meeting on 30th August, reviewed and confirmed this update to the Hall reopening timetable/plan.